PTC Calls Cable Industry’s “Free Speech” Argument Against Maine Cable Choice Law “Laughable”

Written by PTC | Published December 30, 2019

LOS ANGELES (December 30, 2019) – The Parents Television Council called the free speech argument made by the cable companies that have sued to block a Maine cable choice law from going into effect “laughable.” A federal judge put a temporary hold on the law from being enforced in light of the lawsuit.

Maine’s law requires consumers to have the ability to choose and pay for only the cable networks they want. Comcast, Disney and other cable industry behemoths filed suit against the state in an effort to kill the law.

“It is laughable that cable companies are enjoying the benefit of free speech by forcing Maine consumers to pay for all bundled cable networks. If this is truly a free speech issue, then why can’t I be allowed to underwrite the speech that I want, rather than what I’m being forced to buy from the plaintiffs?” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Big Cable’s legal arguments to preserve their TV bundle completely contradict the very essence of today’s streaming video business. Every cable company plaintiff has created its own streaming video service, and each service must find a way to compete in the crowded streaming video marketplace in order to survive. Yet when it comes to cable TV, their argument is that subscribers must pay for bundles with a hundred or more different networks. They say unbundling would limit choices and lead to higher prices. How can they suggest such a thing when they’ve already proven that unbundled streaming services provide consumers with virtually unlimited choices, and at prices that market forces keep affordable? The industry’s hypocrisy is astounding.”

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