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CableCARD Update

Five major MSOs, representing nearly 80 percent of all U.S. cable subs, have deployed more than 246,000 CableCARDs for use in Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready (UDCP) models (i.e., "Digital Cable Ready" TV sets).

The latest numbers, courtesy of a National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , include data from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Charter Communications Inc. , and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) as of Sept. 12, 2007. When the next five largest MSOs are added, deployments of CableCARDs for UDCPs rise to 278,000 units.

That number does not include all of the CableCARDs that have gone out the door, pre-inserted in digital set-tops from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Scientific Atlanta , and Pace Micro Technology -- now that we're almost two months removed from the start of the mandated ban on integrated security set-tops. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven' and Boxing Up 'Seven-Oh-Seven' .)

The top 10 U.S. cable MSOs have deployed more than 650,000 "operator-supplied" set-top boxes with CableCARDs, a removable security element that's supposed to spur a retail market for digital cable boxes (eventually).

All told, more than 928,000 CableCARDs are now deployed and in service among the 10 largest U.S. cable operators.

In order, the bottom five in that top 10 are: Bright House Networks , Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom Communications Corp. , Insight Communications Co. Inc. , and CableOne , according to NCTA data.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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