August. Started out the month in Orlando with 99% humidity and 98 degrees heat and a very successful ACA/NCTC meeting … glad the dress code was "relaxed." Most of Europe is on vacation; ain’t happening here. Instead, we get new articles on how cable is losing out to satellite. And CableFAX Daily runs Steve Effros’ argument making the case that cable is growing – rapidly – revenue-generating units. Good point. True, too. The fact cable is losing subscribers, though, is a compelling story. And one we should not ignore … or even gloss over. I think we have an opportunity to rethink our basic, premium, tiering and packaging decisions in the face of lost video subscribers. That’s why CableWORLD is studying cable’s packaging and pricing decisions as they’ve been influenced (that’s a polite way of saying coerced, or as the politicians say, regulated) by Federal fiat. That’s why we’re busy gathering local packages and creating comparisons with DTH packages … and going into subscribers’ homes and using focus groups to attempt to understand how subs look at what they subscribe to … and why. It’s interesting … and I think you’ll find it full of surprises. DTH simply has, for the moment, more compelling video programming options for more than 22 million TV HHs. No matter how you look at it, that’s significant. Too often, it seems, as the industry moves to deliver broadband access and voice services, we’re overlooking the bedrock of the business: content via channels. Sure VOD and HDTV will change the equation again … but not if we don’t keep accelerating the rollouts. Meanwhile, sure is hot outside. Kind of like the analyst calls. Time to watch some great cable programming. Random Notes

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