Mediacom Eyes HD Expansion

MSO's 'basic family' tier to offer 30 to 40 hi-def nets in time for the 2007 holiday season – offering one reason for a rise in Q3 capex

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

November 6, 2007

2 Min Read
Mediacom Eyes HD Expansion

Mediacom Communications Corp. may have posted a disappointing quarter Tuesday, sending shares below a 52-week low, but the company is still pushing ahead with a plan to enhance its service portfolio, including a hefty expansion of high-definition television (HDTV) content in time for the 2007 holiday season.

Speaking Tuesday morning with reporters and analysts, EVP of operations John Pascarelli said Mediacom's "basic family cable" tier will offer between 30 to 40 hi-def channels for the added cost of the new set-top.

"We expect to announce the first phase of the new HD channels in the next 30 days," he said. With that being the first phase, I guess we can expect subsequent phases, which will be required to keep up with the beefy hi-def lineups DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and EchoStar Satellite LLC are flaunting.

In other strategy-related moves, Mediacom -- which has much more DSL than fiber-to-the-home competition to contend with since Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is its primary telco competitor -- also plans to offer its low-end cable modem service (likely its 512-kbit/s tier) across the board, and couple that with a "fixed, long-term pricing strategy."

Mediacom is also teeing up a commercial voice product slated to launch in the first half of 2008.

While Mediacom used its earnings call to outline some new strategies, quite the opposite happened during Insight Communications Co. Inc. 's later in the day.

Insight, which turned in a solid quarter, offered nothing new about its prospects for a sale (and no analysts even brought it up in the Q&A session), which all but confirms that the MSO is off the block for now... or at least until sometime after it wraps up its system deal with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) later this year. (See Insight-ful Questions Expected Tuesday.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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