Finally, a reason to love the conservative vilification of Hollywood! (Brought to you by... Hollywood! but I digress.)
The business model for cable television relies on bundling, where a portion of your monthly cable bill goes to all those channels that you have access to but don't watch. If this bill passes (FAT CHANCE) it will utterly change what cable looks like.
Fictional example: The Dogfood Channel gets 1 cent per month for every subscriber. But because Dogfood's parent company Viacom requires any cable operator that carries MTV to also carry Dogfood, the 200 million cable subscribers with access to MTV mean a revenue stream of $2,000,000 *monthly* for Dogfood. Most of which is shared back to Viacom, which spends maybe $10,000,000 *annually* to produce the warmed-over reality advertorials on the channel. That's $14 million in profit for Viacom on just one channel.
The big TV producers have a huge incentive to invent new channels full of cheap fluff, and force cable operators to carry them.
Cable companies, by the way, will likely be in favor of this legislation, because if subscribers only pay for what they want, and the operators charge overhead on each selection, then they stand to make more money then they currently do. At any rate, a larger percentage of what subscribers pay will stay with the cable company, rather than going to access fees on all those channels they didn't want to carry in the first place because nobody watches them.
It will also make the local advertising that they sell worth more because there will be way less inventory, and the ads will reach a much more targeted demographic.
On the other hand, if I can get a la carte channel service via the cable company, why not just skip the middleman and order my channels directly from the producer, via internet streaming?
This bill will never pass, but only because it destroys the business model of a handful of big, powerful TV production companies. Consumers and cable companies would both benefit, at least in the short run.