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What's in a Cable Name?What's in a Cable Name?

After 55 years, the NCTA announced that it's changing the name of The National Show, the cable industry's biggest annual convention

Alan Breznick

November 16, 2006

2 Min Read
What's in a Cable Name?

Is nothing sacred anymore?

In a little-noted missive recently, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced that it's changing the name of The National Show, the cable industry's biggest annual convention, after 55 years. From now on, the association proclaimed, the spring confab will officially be known as The Cable Show .

NCTA says the radical move, which comes three years after the demise of the once-popular Western Show that ran in the fall, is part of the group's "rebranding effort" launched earlier in the year. It argues that the new name "better defines the conference and should broaden its appeal as the industry expands into new areas of the telecommunications sector."

Yes, and it took 55 years to figure that out? You must ask: will changing the industry's most venerable conference to The Cable Show somehow make it easier for convention organizers to attract such non-cable types as phone companies, cellular providers, IPTV developers, business services suppliers, and other telecom players? How exactly will that work? Won't the new name make it even less likely that they would come?

Following the NCTA's logic, why not change the name of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association itself? Just drop that silly "telecommunications" that was added several years ago and go back to the old National Cable Television Association. That should help bring in those non-cable types, too.

By the way, the last time a major cable trade conference changed its name to broaden its appeal, it turned out to be the death knell for that show. The Western Show's California organizers tried switching the name of that conference to "BroadbandPlus" in December 2002. Then they ended up ditching the entire conference just a year later.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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