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McCain Sponsors Bill for A La Carte Channels

U.S. Sen. John McCain is planning to introduce legislation designed to spur cable companies into offering programming on a channel-by-channel basis, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The bill, which McCain has been mulling for some time, would relieve such cable companies as Comcast and Time Warner that have significant programming interests of their local franchise requirements if they offer a la carte channel choices, industry executives said.

McCain's move comes as momentum for approval of legislation that more broadly alters the regulatory landscape for cable and telephone companies appeared to slow. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has scheduled a hearing for May 18 on his legislation that aims to make it easier for telephone companies to compete with cable companies in the video marketplace. Stevens, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, plans for a pair of hearings on his legislation.

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