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Cable VOD Reality Check

At Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research Communacopia XIII Conference yesterday, and during Merrill Lynch's Media and Entertainment Conference last week, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts touted the company's video-on-demand (VOD) service results. Roberts proclaimed that customers watched 50 million shows via VOD in July, up from some 20 million at the end of 2003. He also said that that 15 million of the 50 million shows were programs from HBO, for which subscribers paid nothing extra. Eric Hellweg of Business 2.0 raises the logical question, if nearly a third of VOD is free, where is the great new revenue stream from this service? As he puts it: 'video-on-demand has yet to provide the kind of revenue and customer retention that companies had predicted back in the late 1990s.' See the full article at http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,709276,00.html?promoid=yahoo The bottom line: while digital TV gets the hype, it is high-speed data service that is really driving MSO revenue and cash flow growth.
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