Cable (Still) Rules

12:30 PM -- Internet, Schminternet. Your video options are on the decline.

From The Philter regulatory file bin, an excerpt from the FCC's latest cable competition report, which helps make the RBOCs' argument that there are actually fewer video offerings now (outside of cable and satellite) than there have been in the past:

As of June 2005, 69.4 percent of MVPD [Multichannel Video Programming Distributor] subscribers received video programming from a franchised cable operator, as compared to 71.6 percent as of June 2004.

DBS [direct broadcast satellite] subscribers comprise the second largest group of MVPD households, representing 27.7 percent of total MVPD subscribers as of June 2005, compared to 25.1 percent in June 2004, an increase of more than 10 percent.

The competitive presence of MVPDs other than cable or DBS declined. The number of MVPD subscribers choosing all other delivery technologies decreased, representing 2.9 percent of all subscribers in June 2005, as compared to 3.3 percent in June 2004.

This is especially of interest because this data comes after the RBOCs entered the video market. While the RBOCs are causing a stir on the regulatory front, the FCC seems to be saying that cable still has fewer market challengers than ever. This could be great news for non-traditional/Internet-based video service providers.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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