National Cable Television Association (NCTA) is the major trade
organization for the American cable television industry, mediating
the professional activities of cable system operators, program services
(networks), and equipment manufacturers. From its inception, the
NCTA has served the dual function of promoting the growth of the
cable industry and of dealing with the regulatory challenges that
have kept that growth in check. The organization's publications
and regular meetings have kept members apprised of new technologies
and programming innovations, and its legal staff has played a key
role in the many executive, legislative, and judicial decisions
affecting the cable industry over the years.
The NCTA first was organized as the National Community Television
Council on 18 September 1951, when a small group of community antenna
(CATV) operators met at a hotel in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. They
gathered in response to concern over the Internal Revenue Service's
attempts to impose an 8% excise tax on their operations. These businessmen
quickly became aware of other common interests, leading to a series
of organizational meetings during September and October 1951 and
January 1952. On 28 January 1952 the organization's name officially
was changed to National Community Television Association.
NCTA's growth kept pace with the rapidly expanding CATV industry.
Within its first year, close to 40 CATV systems joined the organization.
Membership then grew into hundreds by the end of the 1950s and thousands
by the end of the 1960s. In 1968, the term "Community Antenna Television
(CATV)" gave way to the term "cable," reflecting the industry's
expanded categories of service--including local news, weather information,
and channels of pay television. Accordingly, the NCTA changed its
official name to "National Cable Television Association."
the NCTA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It represents cable
systems serving over 80% of U.S. cable subscribers, as well as cable
program services (networks), hardware suppliers, and other services
related to the industry. The organization is divided into departments
including: Administration and Finance, Association Affairs, Government
Relations, Industry Affairs, Legal, Programming and Marketing, Public
Affairs, Research and Policy Analysis, and Science and Technology.
Courtesy of NCTA
NCTA hosts an annual industry-wide trade show and produces a number
of reports and periodicals, including Cable Television Developments,
a booklet with up-to date cable statistics, addresses, and listings.
Additionally, the National Academy of Cable Programming, established
by the NCTA, oversees the annual Cable ACE Awards. These awards,
created in 1979, recognize the best original cable programming,
at both local and national levels.
Thomas W. "Wired: The Loaded Politics of Cable TV." The New Republic
(Washington, D.C.), 29 May 1989.
McAvoy, Kim. "NCTA's Decker Anstrom: Working Around 'Profound Disagreements'
with FCC." Broadcasting & Cable (Washington, D.C.), 8 May
Mary Alice Mayer. CATV: A History of Community Antenna Television.
Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1972.
Victor, Kirk. "Shifting Sands." National Journal (Washington,
D.C.) 20 November 1993.
of Independent Television Stations; Cable
States: Cable Television