FCC Chairman Supports a la Carte Cable, Needs Congressional Support

We know what you want… a ala carte cable! The good news is that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin supports the idea, the bad news is that he needs the support of Congress to get it done. From Multichannel News:

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin said in House testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill that he would support legislation forcing cable operators to allow consumers to purchase more programming on an individual or a la carte basis, an FCC official said.

The FCC official said Martin testified that an a la carte law was justified because nominal cable rates kept rising and because consumers who tend to watch 15-17 channels still need to buy dozens of channels they don’t want in order to see their favorites.

Martin, who praised a la carte options available to Canadian cable subscribers, told Regula the FCC can’t force an a la carte on U.S. cable operators without a change in the law, the FCC official said.

Here it is, folks. Yet another “tell your Congressperson” moment. Lest you think this will achieve nothing, think back on the DirecTV “Extra Innings” deal. Let’s assume for a moment that you’d like to direct your complaints to a media whore who’ll listen to them if the topic is something that will get him on TV. May we humbly suggest the Honorable Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts? Kerry has both an nterest in Cable TV issues and a history of writing letters to Kevin Martin.—MEGHANN MARCO

Martin Endorses a la Carte Legislation [Multichannel News via Ars Technica]