Satellite killed the cable star


The growth of DBS has killed cable's monopoly and program access rules and
other pro-competitive measures should die with it, the trade group for the cable
industry told regulators Thursday.

All video providers 'are battling it out, home by home, customer by
customer,' the National Cable Telecommunications Association said in comments
filed for the FCC's upcoming assessment of cable competition.

'The house-to-house competition is exactly the result Congress hoped for'
when it passed the 1996 Telecommunications Act,' NCTA said.

DBS now has 18.1% of all pay-TV subscribers and cable's share has dropped to
77%, NCTA added.

As a result of the competition, cable firms have increased investment in
programming and channel capacity, while moderating rate increases.

Consequently, the FCC should allow program access rules that forced
programmers with investments in cable systems to sell their programming to DBS
companies and cable overbuilders to expire on schedule Oct. 5,