In years past, we’ve asked cable execs to weigh in with predictions for the coming year. But given how gloomy the end of ’08 has been, we thought we’d switch things up some. This year Cfax asked the industry to send us their letters to President-elect Barack Obama. Some were serious, some were humorous, but all should give our new president something to think about since he probably won’t be all that busy when he takes office Jan 20…
Dear Mr. President,
We wish you all the best as you embark upon what will certainly be a tremendous challenge starting this January 20th. Particularly in these times of economic uncertainty, I hope for the women of this country that you will remember to consider their needs—as they struggle to balance the pressures of work and family. Health care, day care, schools, equal pay and jobs—these are the issues that resound throughout Lifetime‘s Every Women Counts campaign. These are issues that concern women…day in…day out. Please keep these issues at the top of your agenda. Andrea Wong, President, CEO Lifetime
Dear Mr. President,
I’d like you to go one-on-one in hoops with Stuart Scott —this time for real. ESPN will host it on pay-per-view, with all the proceeds going to fund the program of the president’s choice—and I get to select the referee.
Sean Bratches, EVP, ESPN Sales and Marketing
Dear Mr. President:
ACA and its independent cable members need changes to federal rules that prevent them from upgrading their systems to offer more HD programming, competitive phone, and broadband speeds that reach 100 Mbps in their communities. Without the following changes, many consumers in small markets and rural areas will be without these services in the coming year:
Fair Market for Small Operators — Small operators need changes to existing retransmission consent rules (and pole attachment regulations too) that give their "business partners" monopoly-like power they use to extract exorbitant and discriminatory fees that eat away at independent operators’ budgets for going all-digital and deploying advanced services.
Low-Cost Set-Top Boxes (STBs) — Small operators also need to regain their right to purchase inexpensive digital STBs. With the FCC’s integrated STB ban, independent operators cannot afford to buy all the digital STBs that are needed to transition to all-digital systems. To offer advanced services, small operators must shed their analog services, which is currently stymied by the FCC’s integrated STB ban.
And one more thing — For the FCC now and in the future, Peace and Good Will toward all.
Matt Polka, President/CEO, American Cable Association
Dear President-Elect Obama,
You said these are your favorite TV shows, but a few observations…"M*A*S*H?" That series ended in 1983. "The Dick Van Dyke Show?" That’s even older. "The Wire?" Solid, but canceled. "SpongeBob SquarePants?" Let me absorb that. OK, good family fun. "SportsCenter?" Now you’re talking!
Ryan O’Hara, President, TV Guide Network and Broadband
Dear President-Elect Obama:
The effectiveness and breadth of your online campaign bespeaks an understanding of the online universe far beyond any public figure we have ever known. I share your conviction that any divide between broadband "haves" and "have-nots" should be prominent in the public discourse. The Cable industry has done more to enthusiastically further the dissemination of broadband than any other industry and has done so with the use of no public funding… a claim we alone can make.
We at Bresnan stand ready to put our collective shoulders to the wheel along side you and any other industry that wishes to join this cause but would ask only that we do so in a fair and technology-agnostic manner; so that no one market player could benefit from a taxpayer underwritten leg up to the detriment of all others or to the public whom we hope to serve.
Steve Brookstein, EVP, operations, Bresnan
Dear President Elect Obama,
Please remember that "nucular" weapons pose no threat, because they don’t exist, whereas one nuclear weapon can ruin our whole day…
John Landgraf, President/gm, FX