The global view

As we have in the past, we have some activities to reflect the attendance of international delegates. If you work in the domestic cable market, you might not know much about the international business.

One big key difference is in content regulation. In the U.S., we don’t have much in the way of content regulation, thanks to a strong First Amendment. The FCC does oversee broadcast television (known as “terrestrial TV” in other countries), but cable programming is largely not regulated. In contrast, the distributors of that content – the cable operators – are regulated quite a bit.

Internationally, that situation tends to be reversed. There is little regulation of cable operators, but there is a great deal of regulation controlling cable programming. For example, the number of advertising minutes allowed per hour, when ads can be inserted, local content quotas, local licensing obligations for programmers, and so on. In addition, there are different taxation issues and little in the way of piracy control.

In addition, in many world markets, many “broadcasters” (a word used internationally in the broad sense of TV content distributors) were once government-controlled entities. Once privatized, they still have a special relationship with government regulators that programmers from outside may not enjoy.

In order to pull together our international activities, NCTA has partnered with a number of other organizations, such as Cable Europe, Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), Media Partners Asia (MPA), and TAP Latin America. We have delegations and individuals coming to the Show from such countries as Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, Belgium, France, and Poland. There will be briefings and tours to help these visitors understand developments in the U.S. market.

Sunday afternoon, we will have a session entitled “Geography Lessons: Understanding Cable’s New World Order.” The panel will include:

    Moderator: Balan Nair (Liberty Global, Inc.)
    Reactor: Mike Hayashi (Time Warner Cable)
    Speakers: Thomas Ee (Taiwan Broadband Communications), Toru Kato (Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd.), Dermot O’Carroll (Rogers Cable Communications, Inc.), Cecilia Pedraza (Cablemas), Jan Vorstermans (Telenet)
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