Southern Calif. Co-Op Closing Its Doors

10/20/2006 4:46 AM Eastern

The regional marketing co-operative in Southern California will shutter in December, a victim of market consolidation.

The action was anticipated once Time Warner Cable took over more than 75% of the regional market through its acquisition of Adelphia Communications and related system swaps with Comcast.

When the market was more fragmented, multiple operators -- those companies plus Cox Communications and Charter Communications -- pooled money to buy broadcast and print ads, alternately highlighting offers from each of the participating companies. They jointly supported a regional marketing number, 1-800-800-CABLE.

Current efforts include a full-page newspaper ad touting the frequency of football games in HD available on broadcast and cable networks, designed to counter DirecTV’s marketing for its NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market National Football League package. That ad will be among the co-op's last.

Co-op officials said Time Warner will promote its own brand. The change likely means that Cox and Charter, with smaller regional concentrations, will no longer advertise on broadcast stations.

The co-op may not be the only organization to sunset: According to sources, the Southern California Cable & Telecommunications Association -- which sponsored leadership summits and offered networking opportunities between programming and regional cable executives -- will have a board meeting Friday to discuss its future.

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