L.A. Ops Pool Anti-AIDS Resources

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Not all Los Angeles-area cable operators have rolled out video-on-demand on a commercial basis. But a move is afoot among them to ensure that when they’re ready, they’ll all have a suite of anti-AIDS local programming to share.

At the urging of Cable Positive, local executives with Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Adelphia Communications Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. said they would attempt to contact their programming partners to amass programming about the fight against AIDS.

A representative of Time Warner Cable suggested the joint effort.

Operators would pool content, so there would be uniform access to the information across the area.

Currently, Time Warner Cable is offering VOD, including local content. Executives from Charter and Adelphia said their on-demand offerings are limited. Cox and Comcast will launch local VOD in 2005, according to regional executives at a July 9 meeting.

The local executives are doing their best to revitalize Cable Positive. The meeting’s main purpose was to bring together the boards of the region’s five most active groups: the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, Women in Cable & Telecommunications, the Southern California Cable Television Association and Cable Positive.

With the demise of the Western Show, which had been held each December in Anaheim, several groups lost the event around which key social and fundraising activities were planned.

Cable Positive chapter president Craig Watson, vice president of communications for Charter’s Western Division, urged executives to talk to their boards and come up with a joint holiday promotion that could raise money to be evenly divided among all groups.

No group wants to give up the events already on their schedule, Watson said, but a joint event could tap expertise from each.

Participation would be broader if the groups created an event that could embrace all MSO and network employees, he added.

The cable groups seemed to embrace the idea and already nixed one suggested fundraiser: an eBay-type auction of items solicited from individual employees and companies, to be executed by a vendor.

Representatives of NAMIC said they had staged such an auction only to become the repository of unsaleable items and were forced to hold an old-fashioned garage sale.

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