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A La Carte change coming?

1717 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  fredfa
Is A la Carte on Cable's Menu?

By Doug Halonen TVWeek.com February 28, 2005

The cable TV industry's heated opposition to a la carte proposals could melt altogether if consumers demand the option to pick and pay for only the basic program networks they want. That is one of the revelations being offered by Kyle McSlarrow, the cable TV industry's new chief Washington spokesman, who begins his gig as president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association on March 1


"It is a consumer-driven market," Mr. McSlarrow said during a luncheon session with reporters last week. "That's the way it should be." But walking a fine line, Mr. McSlarrow, the 44-year-old Republican insider the NCTA board hired to lead the industry through the regulatory minefields of a GOP-controlled Washington, said he doesn't believe a government a la carte mandate is desirable or necessary.

"It's very difficult when legislators get into issues of how you market and package things," said Mr. McSlarrow.


In addition, the incoming NCTA chief said he is aware that tensions have been escalating between some cable programmers and multiple system operators, with MSOs blaming programming cost increases for spiraling rate increases for consumers, increases that have been drawing negative reviews from key legislators. The NCTA represents both cable networks and MSOs.

"My role is to listen a lot and find the common ground," Mr. McSlarrow said, adding that conflicts of interests among NCTA members could force the association to sit out some policy debates. "NCTA's role is to represent the entire industry."
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