NCTA Rebrand Drops 'Cable,' Adds 'Internet'

WASHINGTON — The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is restoring “television” to its name, dropping “telecommunications” and “cable,” but preserving “NCTA,” while adding the all-important “Internet” in the leadoff position.

The result: “NCTA-The Internet & Television Association.”

The executive committee of the NCTA (that will remain the second-reference shorthand for the association) approved the new moniker earlier this summer. The new branding is being unveiled today (Sept. 19) and includes a website relaunch and a "brand promise video."

“Modernizing our brand injects a new sense of excitement into our effort to represent an industry that is America’s largest and fastest home Internet provider and the creator of the world’s best television content,” NCTA president Michael Powell said in unveiling the new name and logo.

RELATED:What's in a Name? How NCTA's New Brand Came To Be (subscription reqd.)

The NCTA was granted the fifth extension of its trademark on “NCTA The Internet & Television Association” on July 30 of this year, which gave the trade group six months to either use the name or lose the mark.

Describing the new logo, NCTA said it was meant to project “unity, partnership and energy.”

“The interlocking red circle and blue dot form a purple intersection that represents how NCTA brings together its members for unified positions and speaks with a singular voice on issues impacting the internet and television marketplace,” the association said.

The NCTA applied for the new name back in December of 2012 and rechristened its annual Cable Show convention as “INTX: the Internet and Television Expo” in in September 2014. The association’s name change comes nearly two years to the day after that

Originally known as the National Cable Television Association, the NCTA dropped “television” and added the ampersand and “telecommunications” back in 2000 (though ISPs were not so happy with the FCC adding “telecommunications” to their broadband business cards via Title II).

It doesn’t hurt to drop the “telecommunications” part of the brand, since cable ops argue their broadband business should not be classified as such.

An NCTA spokesperson said dropping telecommunications was not related to that issue, saying it was not a change based on policy but on modernizing the brand, something that “has been on the radar for a few years.”

After the NCTA registered the possible name change, then changed the name of The Cable Show, the association name change was the other shoe that many were waiting to see drop.

NCTA’s new name is a case of president Michael Powell literally putting his mark on the association.

Powell suggested that the “cable” in NCTA was too restrictive in an interview with Multichannel News back in April 2014. He said that “underrepresents the breadth of what we are and what we do. We are not some old-fashioned cable industry. We are probably, now, the country’s most sophisticated full-service communications provider.”

“The updated NCTA brand is a continuation of the association’s effort to reflect how the marketplace is no longer defined by silos of the past,” the NCTA said in announcing the change. Powell has also long advocated for eliminating the regulatory silos that different services have been placed in.

“What do you call an industry that is the biggest WiFi provider in the country? What do you call an industry that is the leading broadband distributor in the country? What do you call an industry that also distributes the highest quality video that you can consume?” Powell said when the Cable Show was renamed.

The NCTA has now supplied the answer: NCTA-The Internet & Television Association.

A version of this article is in the current edition ofMultichannel News.

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.