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SBD/May 10, 2013/Media
ESPN Reportedly Looking To Subsidize Wireless-Data Plans With Mobile Carriers
Published May 10, 2013
PICK YOUR POISON: In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday "singled out" ESPN in his bid to "give consumers the option to cherry-pick channels rather than pay for a programming package." McCain said, "Whether you watch ESPN or not, and admittedly I do all the time, all cable subscribers are forced to absorb this cost." ESPN responded by "arguing it delivers more consumer value than any other programmer and reaches 115 million fans a week across TV, Internet and mobile devices." Although a similar effort in '06 "went nowhere, McCain seems to believe that cash-strapped consumers are now at the breaking point with their cable bills" (N.Y. POST, 5/10). DEADLINE.com’s David Lieberman wrote the bill “won’t pass,” because two things have changed since ‘06, the last time McCain “tried -- and failed -- to promote a la carte cable pricing.” He is “no longer on the Commerce Committee which likely would have to move the legislation forward” and the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 has a "provision that would strip licenses from broadcasters who move programming to pay TV.” The provision ensures that the broadcast lobby “will join cable to do everything in their power to defeat McCain’s bill” (DEADLINE.com, 5/9).