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07.19.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
A la carte cable turns to cold buffet

Cable operator lobbyists did their jobs and Congress members responded accordingly last week in the once hot initiative to allow cable subscribers to pick and choose preferred programs in their subscription plans. The issue, at least for this election year, is all but dead.

During an a House subcommittee meeting last week, it became obvious that most panel members were convinced the cable industry’s argument that mandated a la carte programming would lead to higher prices and fewer choices on cable systems. A majority of Republicans and Democrats backed down from a legislative proposal that would give new purchasing rights to cable subscribers.

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