March 21, 2019
In an over-the-top video era driven by Netflix & Co., pay-TV can seem dated, while cable is downright old-school.
That prompted the American Cable Association to become the latest trade group move away from its legacy medium in favor of embracing rapidly-changing technology with the far-less constricting “communications” moniker.
“It’s all about the communications and connections our members provide,” Matthew Polka, CEO of the newly named American Communications Association, said in a statement.
Notably, ACA’s 700 members largely deliver cable TV to about 8 million subscribers nationwide. But with changing consumer habits toward home entertainment, many of the providers also offer high-speed Internet to remain competitive.
“Even though our industry and technology are changing so rapidly fueled by our members’ broadband deployments, what’s most important for our members and their customers is the ability to communicate freely and connect in their homes and businesses in countless new ways,” Polka said. “With this name change, we’re recognizing that communication is the priority, not the medium.”
ACA’s name change comes three years after the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) renamed itself the NCTA — The Internet & Television Association. “Just as our industry is witnessing an exciting transformation driven by technology and connectivity, NCTA’s brand must reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our members,” CEO Michael Powell said at the time.
While both trade group continue to lobby hard for cable distributors, they are loath to admit as much publicly. In feed, the NCTA’s annual “The Cable Show” was rebranded to “INTX: The Internet & Television Expo.”
Powell said the group’s mission to drive the industry forward remains unchanged.
“But, we’re no longer simply a provider of one-way video programming,” he said.