It’s obvious the name of the game right now, throughout the country, is the elections. You can’t miss it, even if you wanted to, and a lot of us are at the point of wanting to! What is truly extraordinary this year is the impact cable is having on the game. Who would have thought, just a few years ago, that more people would be watching the conventions on cable than on broadcast networks? Who would have imagined the ratings of Fox News or CNN or MSNBC would become part of the story of how people are reacting to the debates? Speaking of the debates, who remembers that the innovator of using the "split screen" to allow viewers to watch the reaction of the debaters was C-SPAN? And just yesterday, C- SPAN was back in the middle of things not because it intruded into the debate, but as the "network of record" regarding all things political and public policy, it happens it was C-SPAN coverage of a public event several years ago that showed the Vice President’s declaration that he had never met his challenger before the debate was, to put it kindly, a lapse of memory. All of this is happening in the context of a multiplicity of cable channels not only covering the "news" of the elections, but also getting involved in the civics of the elections – it’s not just the news channels that are working "…in the public interest" (something the broadcasters are supposed to be doing). For years, MTV has been associated with youth-oriented registration and voting drives; it’s registered nearly 1 million folks for this election alone. Amazingly, Comedy Central, through "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," could have a significant impact on the outcome, given that younger potential voters are getting much of their election information from it. If they then really vote, in numbers larger than in the past, you can reliably say Stewart was one of the most influential "commentators" of the election. Maybe more so that Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Rather, Brokaw, et. al.! A remarkable turn of events. As CableFAX noted yesterday, NCTA just issued a brochure on all the things the networks and systems are doing called "Nobody Covers Politics Like Cable." It’s well worth looking at online (http://www.ncta.com). For a fascinating and extremely well done educational journey down the political path, you must go to: http://www.ciconline.org/eLECTIONresources. That’s the location of a fabulous and innovative game created by Cable in the Classroom to teach about the election process and drive election-obsessed political nerds nuts. It’s an interactive game allowing you to either play against the computer or someone else, pick your party, and "run" for president. The name of the game is eLECTIONS: Your Adventure in Politics. It includes all sorts of information and background on the election process, with historical footage and facts, thanks to CNN and The History Channel, and is designed as a true learning experience as well as a real broadband, interactive challenge. Beware. It’s addictive. It is also something everyone should notify the local school’s social studies department about immediately! The teachers may already know about it, but if not, it is the best example I know of to showcase how cable is participating in "the process" – doing an extraordinary service, and making it fun to use our technology at the same time.

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Another Locast Launch

Nonprofit local broadcast TV streaming service Locast launched in Indianapolis, delivering 42 channels. The streamer is now available in 24 markets. Locast is currently involved in a legal fight with

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