WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The U.S. cable industry supports nearly 1.8 million jobs representing gross economic output amounting to more than $251 billion, and has continued to grow in recent years despite the national economic downtown, according to a study by Bortz Media and Sports Group, Inc. released today by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).  The executive summary, an interactive map and complete study results are available at www.ncta.com.

Besides the “pure economic impact,” the study says that: “The cable industry has led the development of the country’s broadband infrastructure, contributing both to a truly competitive telecommunications marketplace and to more robust growth in the penetration of broadband services.  The industry has also fundamentally altered the manner in which most Americans view television, and through a continuing pattern of innovation has introduced new content and services to consumers.”

“The cable industry makes a substantial contribution to the national economy, including local economies in every state and thousands of communities nationwide," said Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO of NCTA.  "Even during the recent economic downturn, the cable industry continued to create new jobs in both distribution and content, and to invest in infrastructure, bringing faster broadband, innovative video services and competitive phone service to millions of consumers."

The report analyzes direct and indirect impact of the entire cable industry, including the Multiple System Operators (MSOs), program network providers and many suppliers that all contribute.   Some key findings from the study include:

  • Employment.  The cable industry directly employs 233,700 people in all 50 states and District of Columbia, reflecting the overwhelmingly local character of an industry with over 7,400 local cable systems.  There are at least 300 cable industry employees in each U.S. congressional district – and more than 2,000 cable employees in some districts.  Personal income to cable industry employees totals $17.3 billion.
  • Suppliers.  Cable industry suppliers provide another 136,000 cable-related jobs representing personal income of $11.1 billion.
  • Job growth.  Since 2002, direct and indirect employment attributable to the cable industry has increased by 638,000 jobs.  The industry added 4,700 jobs over the last three years at a time when the U.S. economy’s net loss of jobs was more than seven million.
  • Programming.  Program networks provide direct employment to 50,700 people, an increase of 4,200 jobs since 2007.  Additionally, the program network industry both directly and indirectly accounted for 854,000 U.S. jobs, an impact showing an increase of 87,000 jobs in the last three years.  In total, these jobs represent almost $32 billion in personal income. 
  • Infrastructure investment.  The cable industry has led the development of the country’s broadband infrastructure, contributing both to a truly competitive telecommunications marketplace and to more robust growth in the penetration of broadband services.  After investing more than $170 billion over the last decade and a half, cable’s broadband offering continues to set the industry standard with more than one-third of cable customers receiving data rates of 10 Mbps or more and over 75 percent receiving at least 6 Mbps, while the majority of telephone company broadband customers continue to receive speeds of 3 Mbps or less.
  • Economic impact.  Cable’s economic impacts are spread throughout all major sectors of the U.S. economy.  The largest private sector impacts are in the information, services and manufacturing sectors, each of which are critical to both the growth and the overall health of the economy.  The industry also is estimated to have a substantial effect on public sector employment.

"Through its aggressive re-investment of capital and its efforts to deploy new and innovative services to consumers, the industry has fostered the development of a highly competitive telecommunications market and has been a catalyst for broadband growth in the U.S.," the report states.  "Through these investment and innovation initiatives, the industry has exerted a substantial impact on the United States economy."

You can view results from the complete study, including economic and job data by state and congressional district, by reading the complete report or by browsing an interactive map.

# # #