This just in: "The WB Network is pleased to announce a significant change: "On the hilarious hit Blue Collar TV, Larry the Cable Guy is, today at 4 pm, changing his name to Larry the Satellite Guy. Larry says, ‘Hey, I’m going where it’s growing! Besides, the cable guys are all defensive these days.’ "The WB is proud to join-thanks to almost saturated local-into-local opportunities for short term growth-in a product placement that really works! Just call 1-800-LARRYDISH today!" Fiction? Don’t you wish. The guys in the sky are cleaning your clocks. Wall Street is going to have paroxysms of paranoiac fever-and we’ll all get hurt-with the next round of quarterly reports. Well, maybe. Let’s hope. A few analysts think cable will rebound a bit from last quarter’s disastrous basic subscriber losses. Well, maybe. Let’s hope. Meanwhile, the guys in the sky continue to grow at a pace no one (except perhaps those few running the two major DTH platforms) would have believed a couple of years ago. So even if cable has stopped the sub slide, the sky guys are continuing to grow rapidly in what has become a near zero-sum game. And, of course, here come the telcos … Where, do you think, our programming partners will look to grow? As you’ve "heard" me lament, cable has punted away its natural video hegemony… time to get it back. But to do that, we’ve got to rearrange our thinking a bit. That’s why John Ourand’s "White Paper" on regulation’s historical impact on cable packaging and pricing mailed to selected folks last week. And why those same folk will join me in St. Petersburg to begin the process of re-thinking what we do-and why-with our video offerings. A bit unique this exercise … a publishing company hosting an off-the-record look at the world, complete with original (and extensive) consumer research (from Griffin Reports-some 3K interviews!) … The CableFAX Leaders’ Retreat. (And that ends the self-promotional aspect as well.) Random Notes:

The Daily


ESPN Wins Gold in Beta Research’s Latest

ESPN emerged as the top must-have basic cable network in Beta Research ’s latest study, being given a four or five on a five-point scale by 40% of adults over the age of 18. Falling just behind in a

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