Bombs and Battery… Quite a show in Las Vegas last week. Two bombs. One in the Luxor parking garage. Killed a guy. One on stage at the Mandalay Bay as Federal Confusion Commission chmn Kevin Martin(et) stumbled through a badly written speech with lame one-liners, weirdly tortured logic and fumbled applause lines. Trying to kill an industry he professes to admire. One (alleged) battery charge caused big change at HBO. As it should have. But about that 2nd bomber. The NCTA‘s Kyle McSlarrow dissected the tortured logic turning Martin(et)’s “you can’t have it both ways” line back on the chairman. That doesn’t take away the threat of a la carte… which is, of course, the answer to all the world’s ills. Martin(et) said his philosophy of regulation was to tilt the playing field in favor of the innovators. Too bad his actions don’t match his words. Copycats aren’t innovators. But he tilts in favor of the biggest and loudest… not the innovators. Random Notes

  • Pioneers: We inducted a terrific class this year… and, just to make it harder on them, we are ordering (as much as anyone can order anyone in this business) to elect one member of this 2007 class to join the Cable TV Pioneers Board of Directors for a two-year term. From now on, each class will do the same. This new board member will be joining a motley group consisting of Art Dwyer, Jim Faircloth (our new chairman), Rex Porter (our VC), Susan Bitter Smith, Frank Drendel, Bill Bresnan, Mike Pandzik, Ben Hooks (newest member) and me all listening to whatever our executive director Les Read says.
  • Planning Ahead: I know, the show is just over… you haven’t had time to absorb all the new stuff you saw in Vegas… on the show floor or elsewhere… like in parking lots. But stuff keeps happening… so get ready:
  • SoCal CTAM: The evening of May 23rd at the Marriott Marina del Rey will find me leading (sort of) a lively conversation for the Southern California Chapter of CTAM… featuring: Charter‘s (cover girl) Cathy Fogler, Time Warner Cable‘s (new La La Land prez) Steve Pagano, Fox Networks‘ (new evp and new subscriber to The Wall Street Journal) Mike Hopkins, Here! NetworksPaul Colichman and Gemstar/TV Guide‘s Rich Battista. Info at http://www.ctamsocal.com/main/events.html. We’ll be discussing the continuing dynamics of an industry set to, once again, explode! So, be there.
  • More Techie? Starting June 19th (a favorite day of mine as a kid; Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation got to Texas), all of that leading edge stuff that was in Las Vegas last week will be (really) working in Orlando at Cable-Tec Expo… and I’ve got–as usual–a fantastic CEO panel to start off the show. Info at http://expo.scte.org/content/registration/index.cfm. This is a don’t miss show as cable begins the slow movement to include IPTV and more into the realm of everyday. The mantra probably shouldn’t be “convergence”… more like a fusion of interoperability.
  • Canny? Well, Cannes anyway and speaking of IPTV. June 27-29 on the French coast brings an international flavor and close looks from a variety of points of view as C-COR hosts its 3rd Annual Global IP Summit. Info at http://www.c- cor.com/about/PR/news_releases.cfm?action=view&ID=494. And, of course, I’ll be there, too. Wouldn’t miss it. A real–instead of fake–beach at this conference.

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Observers Keep Close Tabs on FCC’s 3.45GHz Auction

Things were looking a bit better Friday for the FCC’s 3.45GHz auction. Round 28 closed with gross proceeds of more than $6.5 billion.

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