|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/.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Jul. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 934
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.
Jul. 25, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,895
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
Jul. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,924
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Jul. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 412
“Being the one true cloud-agnostic and storage-agnostic software solution, more and more customers are coming to Commvault and saying ' What do you recommend? What's your best practice for implementing cloud?” explained Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist at Commvault, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 25, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,663
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 25, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,813
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
Jul. 25, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 864
As companies gain momentum, the need to maintain high quality products can outstrip their development team’s bandwidth for QA. Building out a large QA team (whether in-house or outsourced) can slow down development and significantly increases costs. This eBook takes QA profiles from 5 companies who successfully scaled up production without building a large QA team and includes: What to consider when choosing CI/CD tools How culture and communication can make or break implementation
Jul. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,574
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Jul. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 898
UpGuard has become a member of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and will continue to help businesses expand visibility into their cyber risk by providing hardening benchmarks to all customers. By incorporating these benchmarks, UpGuard's CSTAR solution builds on its lead in providing the most complete assessment of both internal and external cyber risk. CIS benchmarks are a widely accepted set of hardening guidelines that have been publicly available for years. Numerous solutions exist t...
Jul. 25, 2016 10:53 AM EDT Reads: 328
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 25, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,938
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
Jul. 25, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 297
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 25, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,865
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Jul. 25, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 986
Cloud analytics is dramatically altering business intelligence. Some businesses will capitalize on these promising new technologies and gain key insights that’ll help them gain competitive advantage. And others won’t. Whether you’re a business leader, an IT manager, or an analyst, we want to help you and the people you need to influence with a free copy of “Cloud Analytics for Dummies,” the essential guide to this explosive new space for business intelligence.
Jul. 25, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 713