Study: Cable TV Industry Gave Away Almost $2 Billion In 2006

The cable television industry in 2006 donated close to $2 billion in cash, services and support to local communities, up more than $600 million from 2004, according to a research study conducted by the Association of Cable Communicators and Cision US.

The study, conducted by the ACC in an effort to quantify cable’s philanthropic contribution to communities, found that cable system operators and programming networks contributed a total of $1,994,794,418 to their communities during 2006, compared to $1,361,698,733 in 2004, the first year the research project was conducted.

“The results from this study again confirm that the cable industry truly cares about the communities and localities it serves,” Steve Jones, ACC executive director, said in a statement.  “Our companies are an integral part of their local communities and they support their neighbors by contributing nearly $2 billion to the cities and towns where they do business.”

Other results show that the industry overall provided $159,302,000 in support to schools and educational institutions across the nation, an increase of 29% over the two-year period from 2004.  Specifically schools and educational institutions received the equivalent of $48,990,000 in free broadband and cable services. 

The cable industry also contributed another $110,312,000 in educational expenditures to schools and educational institutions.  In 2006 cash and in-kind support by the cable industry to charities, non-profits and educational institutions totaled $925,236,000, an increase of 122% from 2004.

Public service announcements were valued at $897,106,000 in 2006, an 11% increase from 2004. Cable industry companies also provided $8,513,000 in the value of volunteer time to community organizations. Rounding out the survey results was an additional $4,637,000 contribution of broadband services to libraries and youth centers, an increase of 231% since 2004.

Data for the study was obtained by contacting executives at both cable systems and programming networks. ACC sought to quantify the cable industry’s philanthropic contribution to communities via a national questionnaire conducted from March 2007 to March 2008.  Results, based on total industry subscribers figures, were obtained from 24% of programming networks and 72% of cable operators.