How many times have cable operators bemoaned that Wall St focuses too much on basic subs? Is it time to stop relying so much on that metric? "I think a lot of people still look at basic subs as a building block for the business," said Doug Mitchelson of Deutsche Bank. He expects there to be a focus on sub metrics for "quite a while." As cable starts to get free cash flow multiples down to where your at 7-8% FCF yield and investors feel more secure, the concern over how many subs you win and lose will subside. Jeff Wlodarczak of Wachovia said he’s a little nervous that cable gave up too quickly on winning basic subs. "I think you have unquestionably, the best plant out there, and you’ve got this advantage now. I think it’s an important metric," he said. Goldman Sachs ‘ Ingrid Chung, however, did add that she thinks there is "too much focus on basic" by her clients. Despite the uncertain economy or the most intense competition ever, cable is growing, NCTA pres/CEO Kyle McSlarrow told attendees at the kickoff session to the Cable Show Sun. So what’s the secret sauce? "I think it’s because we have renewed our focus on the customer," he said. "Our investments in innovation and quality are working. We have become technology leaders in the communications industry, not simply a platform for television. And we are playing offense." He pointed to cable’s strong 1Q results and introduction of wideband. As for DOCSIS 3.0, Wlodarczak called it a "game changer," predicting that cable will be able to take fiber customers with it.