In a members-only session kicking off the opening of this year’s Independent Show in Orlando, ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka told attendees to gear up for a two-year lobbying effort on Capitol Hill as lawmakers begin their effort to overhaul key provisions of the 1992 Cable Act. Polka outlined ACA’s mission and strategy in preparation for the next two years of legislative activity on Capitol Hill: To be the recognized voice of independent cablecos that deliver advanced broadband services in smaller and rural markets across America; to promote a favorable legislative and regulatory environment for its members; and to support its members, their communities and their customers by promoting a fair and competitive marketplace, and by providing the tools and information ACA’s members need to compete effectively every day. Looking ahead, Polka said the ACA “will continue to urge the FCC to prevent competing and separately owned TV stations located in the same market from coordinating their retransmission consent negotiations with ACA members”…The video part of service provision still is top of mind in the Tier Two/Tier Three cable arena, noted ops presidents at yesterday’s “The Video Business” panel. Although his basic service margins have dropped, overall video has not, commented Steve Cochran, president/CFO for WOW! Internet Cable Phone, adding, “Video still is a huge piece of our business, especially the bundle; 88 percent of our customers bundle their service.” Noted Larry Levinson, president at Levinson Productions, “We still believe cable video is the best way to reach people. OTT may be the future, but it isn’t now.” Levinson also believes OTT aggregation isn’t a business yet (“It’s an ancillary business stream at best”), but it will cause problems for cable down the road. He advised programmers and content developers to consider producing “cable-exclusive” content, and he urged cablecos to offer subscribers smaller channel packages based on what they really want to watch.  

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