Talk about competition-the day after Steve Villano told Cable Positive’s annual fundraiser he’d like to allow DBS and telcos to participate in the group, MSO execs on his board seem to have rebuffed him. The board held a "real spirited discussion" on the subject, "especially because of this competitive environment we’re in," Villano said Fri. Some were adamant the group should remain cable centric. The board met Wed to discuss CP’s 5-yr strategic plan. "There are a number of initiatives Cable Positive wants to do in the next 5 years," Villano said Fri. "In order to do more original programming, training and outreach, it’s going to require us to broaden our base of financial supporters, or have the cable industry step up even more." During its 14-year history, the industry’s raised some $16mln for the group’s AIDS awareness effort. Yet a major tenet of Villano’s speech at last week’s fundraiser emphasized doing even more, including co-opting DBS and telcos. "This disease has no borders," neither should our fight against it, he told the crowd of 900 that eclipsed a record donation of $1.5mln. Nothing’s been decided regarding DBS and telcos, he said Fri, noting other funding options still being considered: foundation grants and reaching outside the industry to consumer organizations. CP expects to ratify the 5-yr plan at its Sept board meeting. Villano’s push comes as WICT and CTAM have gone the other way, making changes recently to become more cable focused. CP believes it differs from those groups because it’s more socially focused, Villano said. "There’s a very deep feeling of ownership that the industry has for Cable Positive, which is wonderful," he said.

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