NCTA Replaces 'Top 25 MSOs' List

Sometime in the last week, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association quietly dropped its handy “Top 25 MSOs” reference page and replaced it with a “Top 25 Multichannel Video Programming Distributors” list that includes four fierce cable competitors: DirecTV (now #2 on the list behind Comcast), Dish Network (#3), Verizon Communications (#8) and AT&T (#10).

The change, spotted earlier this week by CED’s Mike Robuck, means that the bottom four cable companies have been bumped off: Blue Ridge Communications (with an estimated 123,200 subs); Broadstripe (110,000); New Wave Communications (109,000); and Ohio’s Buckeye CableSystem (102,700).

Does this mean the NCTA is embarking on a Big-Tent strategy and will extend membership to satellite and telco operators?

No, according NCTA’s Brian Dietz: The trade group’s membership will remain exclusively cable on the distributor side.

Dietz downplayed the change. He noted that the new list is of the Top 25 MVPDs — an abbreviation used in regulatory circles to refer to pay-TV providers — which include satellite and telco operators “so they naturally should be listed,” he wrote in an e-mail.

I’m just glad NCTA is not changing into the NMVPDTA, which would be an entirely ridiculous abbreviation.