It’s a new age at the NCTA. For months, the assoc tread somewhat carefully when it came to publicly criticizing FCC chmn Kevin Martin. But the gloves came off last month when NCTA chief Kyle McSlarrow said the Republican was bent on pursuing an agenda aimed at forcing the industry to accept a la carte. When we caught up with the trade chief Fri, he was even more candid. "If you look at the regulatory agenda under chmn Martin, there are 2 clear trends: a real trend toward favoritism with AT&T and a real animosity toward the cable industry," he said. Martin has said repeatedly that he doesn’t have any preference for one industry or company—that he’s only wants what’s best for the public interest. "I thought it was short-sided that AT&T pursued using 70/70 to regulate the industry," McSlarrow said. As new Commissions are formed, "I think that it’s unlikely that someone doesn’t turn back around and apply it to them" given AT&T’s size. AT&T says it hasn’t pursued that the 70% benchmark has been met. In FCC filings, AT&T asked that the cable industry provide subscriber data to the FCC, and absent that data, the Commission would have to rely on 3rd party sources and "could reasonably conclude that the 70/70 threshold has been met." Verizon only said that whether or not the test had been met, the FCC should continue to encourage competition and not burden new entrants. On Tues, the FCC did vote to require the cable industry to turn over numbers within 60 days, but just what sort of data it wants and whether it will differ from the data it already collects from cable systems with 20K or more subs remains to be seen. McSlarrow said he had no idea how the Commission would choose to count a subscriber. "When you make important policy decisions behind closed doors… you really are reading between the lines," he said. "It would be odd [to change the methodology] since the idea was to complete the method and compare apples-to-apples."

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Doing Good

AMC Networks teamed up with, North America’s largest non–profit pet adoption website, for AMC’s annual horror marathon “FearFest.” All month

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