Written by PTC | Published May 5, 2021
LOS ANGELES (May 5, 2021) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) denounced a First Circuit Federal Court ruling that dismissed a law that allowed Maine consumers to choose and pay for only the cable networks they want.
“If there were a Hall of Fame for brainless judicial rulings, today would herald a new induction. A First Circuit Federal Court has ruled that the cable industry can force consumers to pay for network programming that they don’t want, don’t watch, and that may even violate their moral or political sensibilities. In essence the Court is saying that the cable industry has greater First Amendment rights than the American public. It is hard to fathom a legal argument more vacuous than this one,” said PTC President, Tim Winter.
“Yet again, the cable industry was able to wield its massive financial resources to thwart commonsense efforts by legislative, judicial and regulatory agencies attempting to give Americans greater control over the TV content they want coming into their homes. This time it was a slick legal argument suggesting that the cable industry had been ‘singled out’ by the legislature. But the reality is that cable was only ‘singled-out’ because it is the only industry that forces a product bundle onto all consumers. If every newsstand in New York City forced consumers to buy the New York Post when they only wanted to buy the New York Times, it would be unconscionable. Yet that is exactly what is happening here, and sadly a wildly-misguided Court went for it - hook, line and sinker.
“The State of Maine exerted bold, responsible leadership when it enacted legislation that would provide its citizens with greater choice. We applaud the Maine legislature, and especially State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, for their noble and meaningful efforts. This logically-bankrupt legal decision must be but a minor setback, not the ultimate outcome, in the ongoing fight for consumer cable choice.”