The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. It’s time for the cable industry to step up to the plate and improve their community TV channels as a way to counter the aggressive competitive moves made by Bell recently in the TV distribution business. The BCE conglomerate is intensifying competition in the TV business on a number of fronts. Bell Canada has applied for two Class 1 broadcast distribution licences, primarily to better be able to tap into the multiple unit dwelling (MUD) markets in Ontario and Quebec – currently a cable stronghold. Now, this week it has repackaged and repriced its TV line-up in ways that research shows would better attract analog cable TV subscribers. It’s now the cable TV industry’s turn to up the ante to keep existing customers and draw new ones. Due to linkage rules, cablecos are restricted in how much they can rearrange their packaging. One way to distinguish themselves from the satellite TV distributors is to beef up their community channels, make them more professional and seriously bolster community outreach. It should all be done in conjunction with massive advertising campaigns, including outside its own advertising outlets, that pump the benefits of having cable TV.  That’s what Bell plans to do – use a well-thought out public relations campaign to reach out to cable’s analog customers and offer them a little bit more. The company’s direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV distributor Bell ExpressVu has put together a reasonably priced entry-level starter package targeted specifically at current analog customers. But the package also includes elements not available to analog cable TV subscribers, such as enhanced services like the Game Galaxy interactive portal.  Cable needs to fight back and make customers aware of what its strengths are – namely that it is local, while satellite TV is national. The best way for cable to do that is through their community TV channels. If the cable TV industry doesn’t take up the battle, we might one day find ourselves pretty much in a Bell-controlled entertainment world.