In an op-ed article for the Los Angeles Times that ran Wednesday, Sen. John McCain explained his proposed legislation that would allow consumers to only purchase the TV channels they actually want to watch.
Though the senator is a self-professed sports nut, he believes that many who are indifferent to ESPN’s constant coverage are unaware of an “ESPN tax,” a monthly charge that comes with any package that includes the sports network.
“Because it’s part of their bundle, the only way to avoid it is to cancel their cable subscription entirely,” McCain wrote in the Times. “This status quo is fundamentally unfair and wrong.”
The senator from Arizona cited companies such as Netflix and iTunes as revolutionary companies that have “upended entire industries” and provided consumers with what they want, instead of what’s simply available in a “package.”
While McCain says he would normally agree that the government should stay out of the free market, he also believes that the government “already has its thumb on the scale in favor of industry and against the interests of consumers.”
“It’s time for that to end,” he wrote.
McCain also said he anticipates pushback in Washington, even though the legislation is supported by “consumer groups and everyday citizens.”
“If it were up to my Twitter followers, this bill would already be law,” he wrote, “but entrenched interests, including the cable and television programming companies whose bottom lines may be affected by any effort to empower consumers, have made it clear they’re girding for a fight.”