NCTA: Cable contributes 2.9M jobs, $421B annually to U.S. economy

LAS VEGAS - Trying to ride the wave of economic nationalism that swept into the White House in January, the NCTA said that the U.S. cable industry contributes more than 2.9 million American jobs and $421 billion to the domestic economy.

The cable-industry group made its announcement Monday, stealing a headline or two as its rival-industry org, the National Association of Broadcasters, ramped up its six-day conference here in Las Vegas. NCTA based its riding on a new study conducted by Bortz Media and Sports Group Inc. 

“Whether its building the powerful broadband networks that are transforming our lives or creating the award-winning TV that is entertaining us, this industry continues to be one of the most significant contributors to our nation’s economy,” said Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA, The Internet & Television Association, in a statement “We are not only an American industry with employees in every corner of the country but we employ people of all different skill levels and backgrounds, providing important jobs for hard working citizens everywhere.”

According to the NCTA-commissioned study, the cable industry generates personal income for its workers totaling $152 billion a year. 

The industry provides at least 300 jobs in each Congressional districts, with some districts serving home to as many as 2,000 cable-industry jobs, the study added. 

And the tub-thumping goes on. 

NCTA said that cable operators have invested $250 billion in U.S. internet infrastructure over the last two decades. 

Franchise fees paid to local municipalities, the lobbying group said, totaled over $3.5 billion in 2016, while the industry doled out more than $1 billion in charitable donations. 

And programming networks on cable systems spent $38.2 billion on content, a fourfold increase over the last 14 years. 

Related: Editor's Corner—Charter, AT&T run long-term risks in cozying to polarizing Trump administration

Painting the cable industry as a source of U.S. job creation and economic growth is a hot trend right now.

Last month, Charter Communications Chairman Tom Rutledge made an Oval Office appearance alongside Donald Trump, during which the President took credit for the operator’s earlier-announced plan to repatriate up to 20,000 overseas call-center jobs. 

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