As Bangor Daily News reports, the law states that "a cable system operator shall offer subscribers the option of purchasing access to cable channels, or programs on cable channels, individually." But Comcast and the cable operators say the law is preempted by federal law and that it would hurt programming networks, especially those that serve niche audiences. The lawsuit, filed Friday in US District Court, asks that the law's effective date, September 19th, be delayed and that the law be thrown out altogether.
The complaint over having to purchase more channels than you want isn't new, and it's one reason so many people have moved to streaming services. "I want to watch the Red Sox, but I don't want to watch [televangelist] Jimmy Swaggart, so I shouldn't be forced to pay for that," the bill's sponsor Rep. Jeff Evangelos, I-Friendship, reportedly said. And according to one report, Mainers were cutting cable at a higher rate than the majority of other states. But if this law is allowed to stand, it could set a precedent for other states to pass similar legislation.