Cable Vision Must Adapt To Change

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Compared to things like drought, water shortages and verbally abusing children outside the library, whether the Phoenix Suns home games are carried on Cable Vision seems trivial.

But it's amazing how passionate people get about sports and local teams. This morning, long before the paper you're holding went to press, a Sedona resident somehow got wind that we were doing the story that appears on the front page. Since Sedona also is served by Cable Vision, they, too, are being deprived of 41 Suns home games -- half the season.

The Sedona resident pointed out that even Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Cornville are getting the games, and asked for a copy of our article to help in her battle to correct "this arbitrary decision."

It's rare that we get an inquiry about a story we're doing before we go to press, and even rarer when that inquiry comes from another community. People care about local sports teams.

But there's another reason we believe this story deserves to be done -- because it contains a lesson that not only businesses but all of us need to remember: Adapting to new realities is a fundamental law of nature. Those who do survive. Those who don't perish.

There's no question that small cable companies are getting squeezed from several different directions. Programming costs are spiraling and satellite providers appear to be making serious inroads into their subscriber bases.

But as Payson resident and Suns fan Mike Fisher put it, "They have to deal with those things. Their competitors have (the games), and they're going to lose customers."

In fact, if Cable Vision loses just 40 Rim country subscribers out of its base of 5,000, they'll lose more money than it costs them to carry the Suns games. Whether Cable Vision passes the cost on to subscribers or finds something to substitute for the games, the issue needs to be addressed.

It's a matter of survival.

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