Santa In Cable Land12/22/2002 7:00 PM Eastern
'Twas the night before the trial in bucolic Coudersport.
Not a creature was stirring, not even Henry from Court.
The season was over and Fox News had won,
Much to the chagrin of CNN's Isaacson.
The Western Show found most had stayed home;
And that was just fine for old Dr. Malone.
And fans of the Yankees and fans of the Nets,
Were getting no
sports on their new TV sets.
Dolan and Hindery are playing the Scrooge,
At least next Olympics we'll get to watch luge.
Away from broadcast viewers flew like a flash,
Yet TV grabbed $8 billion in upfront cash.
Cable did OK; it got billions, too;
Plus more cash came in as scatter buys flew.
Who cares if those pesky DVRs appear?
Product placements will offset those fears.
The way things are going, though, how will that last?
When the dust settles, there may just be Comcast.
So work faster, faster, faster and faster;
Or you won't become a mighty Comcaster.
Now Rupert, now Parsons, now Sumner and Karmazin,
On Dolan, on Diller, on Eisner and Freston.
To the top of the heap, who'll be king of the world?
Who'll sell bundled media like TVs and Berle?
Like dry leaves that fly on a wild, stormy night,
These big guns are blowing away all in sight.
So up to the housetop St. Nicholas flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and a cable guy too.
He'd picked up some modems down at The Wiz,
Knowing full well Chuck Dolan needed the biz.
He looked over his list, was checking it twice,
All to make sure who was naughty and nice.
A new guitar for Jimmy, a limo for John,
A fossil for Hendricks and for Barry, a Palm.
More systems for Roberts, more plexes for Sie,
More bundles for Willner, more networks for NBC.
Higher CPMs than Mel has ever heard,
But for Charlie Ergen, DirecTV wasn't the word.
For Joe Abruzzese, more CBS hires.
And before Joe Ostrow leaves, more cable buyers.
For Paul Allen, he bought some more Charter stock,
And more Hendrix guitars for his museum of rock.
Jail decorations for John Rigas and clan,
All made with such care by Martha Stewart's hand.
DVDs for Kate McEnroe under her tree;
Cable tchotchkes for Robert Sachs and Char Beales.
A Madonna CD for Gerry Laybourne,
A boat for Decker's sail in the Perfect Storm.
Bilotti and Cohen get a clear crystal ball;
Carole Black gets a free pass to the mall.
So just set aside all your digital tiers,
And put away all your Michael Powell fears.
It's time for Santa Claus — and that's a cinch.
This is the time for cable; there's no room for the Grinch.
A Merry Christmas is here, just wait and see,
And the NCTA says, "That's a guarantee!"
Happy holidays from the staff of