NCTA: Cable's 2018 Economic Impact Up $29 Billion

WASHINGTON — The cable industry — including its broadband and phone businesses and programmers —registered $450 billion on the American economic impact Richter scale in 2018. up $29 billion since 2017. 

That is according to a new Bortz Media & Sports Group report by way of NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, which commissioned the updated computation.

Bortz arrived at that calculation by combining the fact that cable, both programmer and operators, account for 3 million American jobs — direct and indirect — and invests billions to build out its service.

Source: NCTA

Source: NCTA

Taking the long view, the report also reports that cable operators have invested $290 billion in infrastructure and a whopping $430 billion in programming over the past 20 years. Not to mention, though it did, $3.5 billion in fees to state and local governments in 2018. 

"In a highly competitive marketplace, the industry's story is one of growth, creativity and innovation," said NCTA. "Its expansion continues to have a significant positive impact not only on the national economy and workforce, but also on the millions of consumers and businesses that utilize its innovative services and features. Billions of dollars annually are being invested to improve the speed and capacity of networks. And, billions more are creating the celebrated shows and TV Everywhere services so viewers can enjoy their favorite entertainment anytime and anywhere." 

Cable programming was well represented at the Emmy Awards, with HBO topping all networks and streaming services with 137 nominations this year, about the same as the Big Four broadcast networks combined.  

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.