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The Greening of Cable

A recent study found that, on average, U.S. broadband households have more than seven video devices, including TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones. Add to that relatively new offerings from the cable industry, including programmable thermostats, home security and other new products.

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March Programming Highlights

It Happened Here
Series Premiere March 10
From the Las Vegas Strip where Tupac Shakur was gunned down to the New York City stand-up clubs where Richard Pryor honed his comedy, each hour-long episode takes viewers to the exact site to tell the story leading to a celebrity’s controversial or tragic event. Other episodes include the stories behind Kurt Cobain, Andy Warhol, Joan Rivers, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe.
 
Gangsters: America’s Most Evil
Season 3 Series Premiere March 27

Gangsters: America’s Most Evil explores the rise and fall of some of the most ruthless outlaws, scary kingpins and notorious criminals brought to justice by the United States government. Each episode profiles these gangsters and reveals their sinister motives, transgressions and the circumstances that eventually led to their downfall.

Learn more: https://www.reelz.com.


Cable Drives the Economy – And More

Could you go a day without broadband? From home to job, you might be surprised to realize how much of your daily activity relies on a connection to the internet. A majority of Americans agree that high-speed internet is integral to the economy not just because of the many jobs, according to a recent poll.


With a total economic impact of $421 billion, the cable industry that supports an astounding 2.9 million jobs across the country. In the past decade In Texas, the cable industry translates to 151,527 direct and indirect jobs, 16,614 cable employees and an economic impact of $22.61 billion.

And cable’s impact is growing – the industry has added about a million jobs in the last decade, more than the population of Austin, according to the 2015 census.

But not only do about three fourths of Americans say that cable is important to local, state and national economies – 64 percent say it’s important to their jobs.

What about after work, in the home? As we’ve seen with the “internet of things,” broadband in the home is now for much more than surfing the internet or streaming video. More and more, it’s being integrated into household functions, from controlling the thermostat and other home operations to cooking to cleaning to exercising and more. Certainly, the sales of Google and Amazon (Echo) home voice assistants have exploded in recent months.

Our January newsletter explored some the newest transformative trends unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Today, any home – no matter when built – can be a “smart home.”

How important is internet access? Very important, polls find. Even six years ago, a survey found that some Americans would give up sex for a year (21 percent), forgo alcohol (77 percent) or quit coffee (63 percent) in order to stay online.

So how are Americans getting online? Most are turning to cable for their high-speed broadband services. Cable has captured about 64 percent of the broadband market, and its share is consistently growing, even as telcos are losing broadband subscribers. In the fourth quarter of 2017, cable accounted for 115 percent of all broadband additions.

Cable Celebrates Diversity

As Black History Month (February) ends, Women’s History Month (March) begins. Diversity has been an issue of great discussion recently, in all parts of U.S. society, and the cable industry – from the front office to onscreen – has been no different.


Cable employees can be found throughout every state in the country, with 16,614 in Texas alone. And a growing number of those in the industry are women and minorities, finds a study that Women in Cable Telecommunications and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications have been conducting for more than a decade.

The latest Industry Diversity Survey, released last fall, indicated that the percentage of people of color, and of women, in executive and senior positions in cable exceeded national benchmarks, as did the overall hire rate for people of color. In 2017, the overall workforce of people of color increased from 39 percent to 40 percent, while the percentage of women remained constant at 34 percent. Executives at the senior ranks (senior level officials and managers) rose from 16 percent to 23 percent for people of color and 32 percent to 38 percent for women.

Still, the survey found room for improvement, especially in the areas of employee retention and promotion.

The cable industry also hosts an annual event to raise money for diversity programs and to recommit to prioritizing diversity initiatives across the media and entertainment landscape. In 2017, the 34th annual Walter Kaitz Foundation raised more than $1.6 million toward these efforts. The Foundation’s mission includes serving as a catalyst to increase diversity in cable in three areas – its workforce, its supplier base and its programming.

What about onscreen – are viewers seeing more diversity? More than two-thirds of TV viewers say that the TV programming they watch reflects people of different races, ethnicities, gender and sexual orientation, according to a recent poll from Morning Consult.

As NCTA’s report on the recent 9th annual Hollywood Creative Forum notes: “The demand for diverse and multicultural programming is higher than it has ever been.”

The report also notes, “the television landscape has shifted towards embracing strong female plot-driven shows – like HBO’s Emmy-award winning Big Little Lies – and towards affording African-American women more opportunities to break the mold – like HBO did with Issa Rae, the creator, executive producer and lead star of the network’s hit show, Insecure.”

In September, Emmy Awards winners taking center stage reflected that diversity, with historic wins that included the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing and the first Muslim and South-Asian man to win an acting Emmy. According to CNN’s coverage of the awards presentation ceremony, “From people of color to women, the night’s biggest winners continued to strengthen the argument often made that the small screen is more inclusive.”

Winners came from a record pool of 27 nominations of performers from diverse backgrounds.

What will the Oscar Awards, to be presented on Sunday, March 4, bring? In addition, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications will announce its Vision Awards winners on April 3. The 25th annual Vision Awards recognize original programming that is reflective of the lives, spirit and contributions of people of color that best reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the viewing audience. Learn more about the awards and see a list of nominees.

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