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Senator McCain Could Single-Handedly Drive Cord Cutter Adoption
By: Mike Bush
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I’ve written a lot about the Cable TV space here on Flack Me, because I think it’s important that we, as an industry, are able to speak to our clients intelligently about where viewers are going.
Yesterday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) sent a letter to the FCC asking for support in his recent bill, which would require cable companies to offer consumers the ability to unbundle their channels, and order channels in an a la carte manner. (I wrote a piece called ‘A Hundred Channels and 90 of them Stink,’ found here, so it’s pretty obvious where my views of the Senator's bill might lie).
Of course, Senator McCain’s bill calls for cable companies to offer the ability to get, for example, the 18 channels they want to watch, as opposed to paying for 130 channels. Presumably, this would be available through consumers’ cable boxes.
However, if there’s one thing we’ve seen from the cable networks in their history, it’s that there is always a desire for additional revenue streams. I believe that the cable industry, if forced to offer a la carte channels, would also offer streaming of those individual channels, either as standalone products or as a premium service.
For example, ESPN is widely mentioned as costing cable companies around $5.50 per month. It seems like the cable companies will pass that bill along to folks who want to watch ESPN, but would they charge more for the ability to stream the channel? Or would they offer a “streaming only” option for the station?
My guess is that it would start as a premium service, but, depending on usage, could eventually lead to a streaming only model.
Either way, Senator McCain may be leading the charge for cord cutters who share my vision: A utopian world where I can get access to the shows, channels, and events I want to watch, no matter which device I have with me and no matter where I might be.

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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