An nameless reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Comcast and a number of other TV community house owners have sued the state of Maine to cease a regulation that requires cable firms to supply a la carte entry to TV channels. The criticism in U.S. District Courtroom in Maine was filed Friday by Comcast, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal, A&E Tv Networks, C-Span, CBS Corp., Discovery, Disney, Fox Cable Community Providers, New England Sports activities Community, and Viacom. The businesses declare the Maine regulation — titled “An Act To Develop Choices for Customers of Cable Tv in Buying Particular person Channels and Packages” — is preempted by the First Modification and federal regulation. The Maine regulation is scheduled to take impact on September 19 and says that “a cable system operator shall supply subscribers the choice of buying entry to cable channels, or applications on cable channels, individually.” The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the regulation from being enforced. “I submitted this invoice on behalf of Maine’s a whole lot of hundreds of cable tv subscribers,” Consultant Jeffrey Evangelos, an impartial, mentioned in testimony when the invoice was being debated in March. “For a lot too lengthy, customers have been pressured to buy cable TV packages which embody dozens of channels the patron has little interest in watching.”
However the present system involving service tiers and bundling “replicate[s] the train of First Modification rights — each by the programmers who determine how one can license their programming to cable operators, and by the cable operators who determine how one can present that programming to the general public,” the trade lawsuit mentioned. The lawsuit additionally says that “an array of federal statutory provisions precludes Maine from dictating how cable programming is introduced to customers.” The state regulation “is expressly preempted by a number of provisions of the Communications Act,” together with a piece that “prohibits state and native authorities from regulating the ‘provision or content material of cable companies, besides as expressly supplied in’ Title VI of the Communications Act,” the lawsuit mentioned.