|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/.
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
Feb. 5, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 146
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 5, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 107
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Feb. 5, 2016 04:00 PM EST
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
Feb. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 759
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 5, 2016 03:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay 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. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 5, 2016 02:45 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, 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. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 5, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 684
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 5, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 112
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of 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, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 323
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...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 306
The maker of automated server migration software reports sales bookings increased 460 percent year-over-year and last week IDC forecast spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $141 billion in 2019. Seems (at last) we are at the tipping point where enterprises are adopting cloud in a big way opening opportunities for those who can help with the transition.
Feb. 5, 2016 01:27 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, 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. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 5, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 317
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Feb. 5, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 487
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 5, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 510
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Feb. 5, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 660