TVTechnology.com is reporting on a New Law slated to take effect in Maine on Sep. 19 has Cable TV companies (Comcast) and content providers like Disney, Fox and CBS are besides themselves! They are so upset they are suing the State of Main in U.S. District Court.
Named in the lawsuit is the State of Maine and 17 municipalities. What has them so upset is the law which was sponsored by Rep. Jeff Evangelo makes it illegal to sell only bundled packages of channels in the State of Main.
Cable TV and Satellite providers will need to offer À la carte programming and break up the bundles. Because many consumers in the State are upset by and no longer want to pay expensive monthly fees to only watch a few channels they really want.
Companies like Disney, which owns ESPN and who is already facing large subscriber losses, CBS and Fox are fearful. Because when cable subscribers are given the option to subscribe to channels individually instead of being forced to subscribe to their channels through bundles many will simply ignore their channels and not subscribe at all.
The entire bundle option is a little crazy. Imagine going to McDonald's and only wanting to order a hamburger, fries and a Coke. And they tell you sorry, this is not an option. You need to order our $29.95 bundle which comes with all these items and also includes a Fish Fillet, Apple Pie, Vanilla Milkshake, and a Chocolate Ice Cream Sunday.
People would simply go to Burger King and order their hamburger, fries and a Coke. But with cable TV and satellite many customers who live in rural areas don't have the option to simply buy their televison content elsewhere. And with broadband nonexistent in many areas, streaming individual channels and cutting the cord is not always an option.
Another reason big media companies and cable providers are fearful of this law is other states may soon follow. They are citing a federal law that gives them the right to bundle content provider channels. But Jeff Evangelo knows of no such law.
It will be very interesting to see if the State of Maine prevails. And if they do, it could be a game changer across much of the country. And one more nail in big media and cable TV provider's coffin.
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