Monday, September 13, 2010

Viewers Prefer Local News And Miss Local Cable Companies

I read this short article today and it reminded me of what cable distribution initially meant. As people seem to prefer local news, cable was meant to be your local distributor. Municipalities would take bids and select their local cable provider in exchange for local channels and production facilities. Just check down in the lower numbers of your cable line-up for those channels. Yes they are still there. And cable companies built local offices manned by local management to respond to local issues. And they marketed their local presence as something unique, that the telephone company couldn't do.

Today, cable distributors have consolidated their management operations into regional or divisional levels. Most decision making has gone even higher into the corporate building. There seems to be no more local and cable distributors have opted to copy the telephone model today instead of differentiating from it. The local manager no longer exists; in fact, those local buildings may now simply be call centers or warehouses with no General Manager in attendance. Consolidation is king.

As for the story of local news still number one. people still live in neighborhoods and still want to know as much about what is going on outside their front door as in their state, country, and world. Local may have been a buzzword for the early days of cable, but local still does matter.