NCTA: Cable is no cartel

Org files subscription numbers with the FCC

WASHINGTON — Congress has no reason to be concerned that cable is some sort of cartel, evidenced by the increasing competition posed by direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operators, the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. said Thursday.

In papers filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the NCTA said that cable’s share of the subscription multichannel market has dropped to 77% over the past year, or about 2.9 million customers.

All told, there were nearly 80 million Americans subscribing to cable, DBS and local telephone operators providing video services as of July. Traditional cable boasted about 68 million subscribers; DBS had about 16 million.

“There is ample evidence now for the commission to conclude that video competition has fully taken hold,” NCTA said in the FCC-logged papers. “And consumers will continue to be the beneficiaries as the array of services and competitors continue to grow.”

The reg agency will use the data in preparing its annual report to Congress on competition in the video-delivery market.

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