Cable TV’s Borrelli: Industry Is Adapting, But Not Going Away


Demand for direct-to-consumer video options are growing, and cable television systems are evolving to meet it, but traditional cable is not going away as fast as some suggest, Lou Borrelli, CEO of the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), told The Patriot Depot.

The NCTC is the largest cable association that supports smaller, independent distributors.

“[The] migration is actually expedited through the [COVID-19] pandemic, and so what happens now is people do have more choices but not necessarily in a way where they might save money or it might not be as convenient as they think,” Borrelli told Friday’s “John Bachman Now.” “It’s an evolution, and I think that for the near term we’re going to be very strong supporters of linear video.

“We’re doing a very good job, I think, of handling broadband and digital video platforms. And we’re also looking at services inside the home. You know, at some point that migration to direct-to-consumer video will occur. There surely be a floor in terms of the number of customers that stay with the traditional cable platform, but the writing’s on the wall. And, so, our members are morphing their business plans, they’re upgrading the technology and their people to be able to deal with whatever the consumers want.”

The NCTC, based in Lenexa, Kansas, began in 1984 with 12 systems for the purpose of aggregating their subscribers for rate savings and has grown to more than 700 member cable companies and broadband suppliers.

Many of its members serve rural communities, which in some cases, Borrelli said, is greater than cities.

“I think you’d be surprised by the number of choices that are available in some of our rural markets,” Borrelli told host John Bachman.

“There has been a growth in that area, and frankly, there are some smaller towns that have more choices than the bigger cities.

“And the competition is really . . . it’s not like our members are waiting to be competed against. They’re going out and competing on their own and opening up new territories and expanding their footprints.”

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