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CU commends FCC chair for supporting cable a la carte

November 29, 2005

Statement of Gene Kimmelman in response to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s support for cable “a la carte” pricing before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Summit on Decency in the Media.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin should be strongly commended for striking at the heart of the cable industry’s flawed pricing model which forces people to buy packages of television channels they don’t want and shouldn’t have to pay for. His support for “a la carte pricing” should help push it forward, giving consumers’ wallets a break and allowing them more control over their television choices.
Cable companies and broadcasters have fought a la carte pricing for years, hiding behind the fallacious argument that popular and unpopular programming had to be bundled together to keep all programming afloat.  Last year, the FCC issued a staff report based on erroneous assumptions that kept this charade going.  Today, Chairman Martin has blown a huge hole through this fortress of deceit. 
Consumers Union hopes to work closely with Chairman Martin, his colleagues at the FCC and members of Congress to ensure that consumers receive the true benefit of being able to choose the channels of their choice at a fair price on cable and satellite television systems.
Jeannine Kenney, Consumers Union, (202)-462-6262