NCTA Head Offers Cable Advertising to Support DTV

The president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association pledged that the cable industry will add its advertising resources to broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers to promote DTV. President Robert Sachs recently made the announcement during a speech at the Futures Conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Sachs said that cable companies will add advertising resources to promote DTV where MSOs are providing HDTV. To address the need for industry cooperation, he pointed out that the cable industry has invested $55 billion to upgrade its infrastructure for advanced services such as digital video, high-speed Internet access, cable telephone service, and HDTV programming. He also noted that cable and broadcasters have common interests in protecting copyrighted digital content and ensuring technical compatibility of broadcast HDTV signals with cable systems.

Individual cable providers have recently taken several steps to spur the digital transition:

* Time Warner Cable has launched HDTV tiers in 42 markets;
* Comcast has launched an HDTV tier in Philadelphia to 1.3 million customers, and will offer HDTV in Washington, D.C., Detroit and Indianapolis;
* Charter Communications will extend HD tiers in seven markets, including Birmingham, Ala.; South Miami, Fla.; and St. Louis.