With three major cable operators in the final stages of M&A, the 2016 iteration of the erstwhile "Cable Show" (now known as INTX) had to be the smallest signature confab the National Cable Telecommunications Association has ever produced.
The NCTA has yet to release an official head count, but the consensus among longtime Cable Show/INTX operators put attendance well below the 8,000 predicted by the organization prior to the show.
Despite the apparently small turnout, INTX flirted with fireworks at times, most notably when NCTA chief Michael Powell delivered a call to arms by declaring the cable industry under "relentless government assault" from the FCC. This proclamation was followed by four FCC commissioners actually getting together on stage at INTX for a lively regulatory discussion that went deep into the controversial FCC proceedings being watched most closely by the cable industry.
Unfortunately, the show's momentum flamed out bad the next day, the last day of the show, when Wheeler himself gave a tepid defense of his three reviled proposals to a sparse crowd of cable industry denizens. You couldn't necessarily hear crickets, but you could hear the relatively meager collection of INTX booths being hastily disassembled all over the Boston Convention Center.
Powell closed things out by reminding everyone who was still left in the room that we all get a "new White House and a new FCC next April."
There was definitely a "wait till next year" vibe at INTX 2016 -- but the event had its share of solid moments, too. In this special report, FierceCable summarizes the best and worst of the show this year, with a look at the trends and themes that will affect the cable industry from now until next year's show. Check it out in the links below. --Daniel