NCTA’s Agenda Branches Out As Year Ends


NCTA is having a busy month, including a major White House initiative and expectations that the Congressional lame duck session will include action on a major bill with a potential $2 billion impact on the industry. It calls the current legislation “the single most important piece of … policy legislation and needs to be negotiated and approved by Congress every five years.”

NCTA, on behalf of more than 4,000 “affiliated businesses,” continues to wage its campaign against competitive suppliers, who continue to capture greater market share as consumers veer off to less community-oriented providers or abandon their traditional suppliers altogether.

Oh, NCTA, in this case, is the National Christmas Tree Association.  Its White House event included a real Christmas tree ceremony, and its legislative agenda focuses on a Farm Bill. The association supports the interests of “farm-grown” Christmas trees against the ever-encroaching competition from artificial tree-makers and marketers.

Of course, that other NCTA’s objectives and rhetoric mirror those of most lobbying groups – even a similarly acronymed NCTA that we follow much more closely.  The advocacy initiatives and industry promotions are perennials (dare I say :”evergreens?) that keep Washington sprouting. 

Assessing the work of the “other” NCTA provides a good reasons to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a “real” (if unpredictable) 2013.

Gary Arlen is president of Arlen Communications LLC in Bethesda, Md., and a long-time interactive TV enthusiast. Reach him at