Like Everyone Else, Cable Is Just Playing To Win

The article "Why cable companies are playing so rough" (Media, Aug. 12) correctly points out that "The cable industry says it should be able to sell shows to whomever it pleases." No kidding! That couldn't be more correct. And why not? When cable was the newcomer, it couldn't find programmers, broadcasters, or moviemakers to fill all its new, empty channels. Therefore, it did what every entrepreneur does: It created, or backed, its own channels. The cable industry made the investment, which was considered foolhardy if you recall all the news and business magazine coverage of a decade ago when the "Chicken News Network" (CNN), MTV, C-SPAN, and Black Entertainment Television started. So at least in the pages of a business magazine, shouldn't cable get the returns? Besides, hasn't anyone at BUSINESS WEEK heard of copyright?

I also enjoyed the "discussion" of cable's alleged legislative prowess: "Such past legislative victories may owe something to the $565,000 that the NCTA lavished on congressional campaigns in the last election." Funny, the article then doesn't mention how much the regional Bell operating companies spent. Bet it was more.

Paul S. Maxwell

Editor Emeritus

Transmedia Partners


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