It was just a bit more than 10 years ago that the first direct-to-home direct-broadcast-satellite mini-dish was sold in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by Cowboy Maloney for DirecTV. Not long after, SkyFORUM debuted. And, I started writing about how satellite had taken the best of cable-developed video and out-packaged, out-marketed and, when it came to new multichannel video subscribers, out-sold cable TV. But not many of you listened. Not many of you went to the semi-annual SkyFORUMs, either. You might have learned quite a bit about how to compete … It has taken almost a decade for cable TV to focus on that concept: COMPETITION. It sure done got real out there, didn’t it? As Adelphia’s Ron Cooper commented the other day in Denver, "Cable faces a well-financed competitor" in every single line of cable’s business. From video to high-speed Internet access to telephony to video-on-demand to PPV to Hi-Def to you name it. Therefore (DUH!), cable has to get smart … because the competition is going to get tougher. Another SkyFORUM is this week (tomorrow at the Waldorf, lousy room though, in New York; might be the last one as the sponsoring association seems to be coming apart at the seams). Maybe the soon-to-be-completely-red, white and blue News Corp will leak a few initiatives (maybe not). No "echo" is scheduled, but you never know. From the beginning of alternate delivery systems, programmers – especially the ones cable systems initially jump-started – have been a major part of the offerings by DTH companies … Maybe cable could have paid a little more attention to its video packaging and offerings a decade ago. Ah, but never too late, is it? Also this week is the T. Howard Foundation (run by our friend Curtis Symonds) dinner … a worthwhile event Wednesday evening at Cipriani’s … even if it is for the satellite industry (turns out it is mostly a programmer and programmer-supported activity). Honorees are John Sie and Sheila C. Johnson. Usually a fine event. Random Notes

The Daily



Graybar and DirecTV were the two industry names that landed on Newsweek ’s annual Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces list. The electrical, communications and data networking products distributor landed at No. 80

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