|By Business Wire||
|March 24, 2014 02:27 PM EDT||
The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to recognize in its new video competition report to Congress the important role of buying groups in lowering the costs of conducting business between national cable programmers and 900 small and medium-sized multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).
“Without a buying group like the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), customers of small and medium-sized cable operators would pay higher fees for their television service. This buying group creates substantial efficiencies for programmers and hundreds of smaller cable operators, and the cost savings are passed through to consumers,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “A report on video competition to Congress would be lacking if it failed to acknowledge the vital role of buying groups.”
ACA set forth its views in comments (click here to view full document) filed March 21 with the FCC in connection with the preparation of its new video competition report to Congress. ACA’s comments underscored some key facts and trends, including that nearly all independent cable operators and all programmers with the most widely distributed national cable networks rely on the NCTC to serve as a facilitator in the purchase of programming, helping to moderate transaction costs for its members and programmers alike. NCTC was organized by a dozen small and medium-sized MVPDs for the purpose of serving as a buying group and creating efficiencies in the acquisition of video programming. Today, the NCTC has 890 member companies and has been successfully negotiating programming agreements on behalf of its members for 30 years.
NCTC has master agreements with all of the Kagan Top-25 national cable networks and 46 of the Top 50. NCTC members’ subscribers have never collectively lost any networks. Members of NCTC do not rely on the NCTC to negotiate carriage of broadcast television stations and regional sports networks. Negotiations for regional networks and local stations are conducted by cable operators on their own.
Of NCTC’s 890 members, more than half serve 1,000 or fewer subscribers. The median size of an NCTC member is 1,500 subscribers. Of NCTC’s 25 largest members, the four largest do not currently license substantial amounts of programming through the buying group. However, the remaining 21 of this group do license substantial amounts of programming through the NCTC. NCTC members outside its 25 largest members generally rely even more heavily on NCTC to secure their programming.
NCTC plays a similar role with respect to service and equipment vendors, thus allowing its members to realize additional efficiencies in other areas. By recognizing the vital role of buying groups in assisting small and medium-sized MVPDs in its video competition report, the FCC can present a more realistic assessment of the state of the video distribution marketplace in 2013.
The importance of a buying group like NCTC is buttressed further by data and information provided in ACA’s comments that smaller cable operators are continuing to exit the market and close their systems owing to a few factors, rising programming costs chief among them. In its last report, the FCC noted that in the previous five years, nearly 800 cable systems serving more than 35,000 subscribers in mostly small and rural communities had closed, leaving those communities without any wireline MVPD. Based on new NCTC-supplied data, since 2008, NCTC members closed a total of 1,078 small and rural cable systems, the vast majority of which reflect systems that have ceased providing video service in their communities. At the time of their closing, these systems served about 50,000 subscribers.
“In order for the FCC to give Congress an accurate picture of the health of the video distribution markets, it is essential that it include in the 16th Report data revealing the overall decrease in the number of cable systems,” Polka said.
Lastly, ACA urged the FCC to report on the increasing trend of cable companies that either directly own or have attributable interests in video programming. A programmer affiliated with a cable operator has the incentive and ability to engage in unfair practices, such as charging its cable systems’ rivals much more for its networks than it charges itself and non-rival MVPDs.
ACA noted that the latest outbreak of vertical integration stated in early 2011 when Comcast acquired NBC Universal. The trend continued in early 2013 when Liberty Media purchased a controlling interest in Charter Communications. Because John Malone holds a substantial interest in Charter through his stake in Liberty Media, as well as interests in Discovery Communications and Starz, all of the companies are now effectively operated under his unified control.
ACA also noted that if Comcast, which already owns NBC Universal, is permitted to acquire Time Warner Cable, the second largest cable operator with 11.1 million video subscribers, vertical integration in the cable industry will grow even more.
“ACA is concerned that the revival of vertical integration – meaning the common ownership of cable systems and programming channels – will cause independent cable operators to pay more for programming, and these higher costs will mean higher costs for their customers,” Polka said.
About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 31, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,446
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
May. 31, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,755
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,029
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,459
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
May. 30, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,674
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 805
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 778
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,642
As machines are increasingly connected to the internet, it’s becoming easier to discover the numerous ways Industrial IoT (IIoT) is helping to shape the business world. This is exactly why we have decided to take a closer look at this pervasive movement and to examine the desire to connect more things! Now if you need a refresher on IIoT and how it is changing the world, take a moment and listen to Greg Gorbach with ARC Advisory Group. Gorbach believes, "IIoT will significantly change the worl...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,113
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,093
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,097
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,162
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,130
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 820
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Cole, Director of Solutions Engineering at Peak 10, will discuss how the newest technology advances are reducing the cost and complexity of traditional business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. Attendees will: Learn why having a full disaster recovery strategy is more important now than ever before Explore the key drivers of a successful disaster recovery solution Achieve measurable operational and business value from a disaster recovery ...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,515