What if you could pick and choose which broadcast TV channels you get?

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Two of the most powerful senators in Washington have an idea that could change the economics of TV for good.

The plan, proposed by Sens Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD), would let TV viewers individually decide which broadcast channels they want to receive in their cable subscriptions. You could, for example, opt to receive ABC and NBC but not CBS. Consumers would then be billed directly for those individual channels, essentially establishing an a la carte system for broadcast TV.

First, ending the cable companies' role as a middleman between viewer and broadcaster would eliminate the contracting disputes behind programming blackouts like the CBS-Time Warner Cable outage in 2013. Second, by paying for broadcast content themselves, consumers would have a better idea of how much that programming is actually worth. Third, consumers could more easily compare broadcast fees against the cost of cable programming.


What if you could pick and choose which broadcast TV channels you get?