The linear video business remains vital to independent cable ops, but panelists at the Indy Show advised them to keep pushing forward with authentication as consumer behavior evolves. Arris pres Bruce McClelland said OTT won’t kill the set top any time soon. “We’re years and years away from the reality of that,” he said. The slew of private-equity deals involving small ops in recent weeks was all the buzz, with NCTC pres/CEO Rich Fickle calling the high valuations “a great endorsement for what these companies have been able to do.” Tom Cohen of Kelly, Drye & Warren told attendees that a positive ruling may come in 3Q to end the prohibition of cable companies and CLECs in the same market merging.

Also in the July 24 issue of CableFAX Daily:

House Commerce chmn Fred Upton (R-MI), House Telecom subcmte chmn Greg Walden (R-OR) and other Republican lawmakers are asking the FCC to avoid expansive interpretation of the program carriage rules.

Time Warner Cable’s battle with Hearst is over, but now Meredith stations are making noise. TWC subs could lose several stations Wed when the op’s contract with the broadcaster expires.

USA’s new mini “Political Animals” (Sun, 10p) has a bit of life imitating art imitating life and a cable insider angle all rolled into one.

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Networks are pulling out all the stops for the first presidential debate set to take place Tuesday between Donald Trump and Joe Biden . Ad-supported streamer Haystack News will offer streaming channels for the

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