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Cable backs Digital TV transition plan
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-05-09
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - May 3, 2002

The Cable television industry says it's firmly behind voluntary industry actions to speed the transition to digital television, "as proposed recently by FCC Chairman Michael Powell" and to make its point, extended an offer which includes, "cable systems with more than 25,000 subscribers and activated bandwidth of at least 750 MHz in the top 100 markets."

They say they'll carry the signal of up to five commercial or public TV stations at no cost to cable operators or broadcasters, or cable networks that provide HDTV programming during at least 50% of their prime time schedule or a substantial portion of their broadcast week.

In a letter to Powell, Robert Sachs, President and CEO, National Cable and Telecommunications, said, "Central ... is our belief that the availability of high definition television (HDTV) is key to create the market incentive for American consumers to purchase digital TV receivers. The cable industry's initiative, together with the voluntary actions of other industries as suggested by Chairman Powell, should provide an important boost to the DTV transition."

The 10 cable operators pledging support are AT&T Broadband, AOL-Time Warner, Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Adelphia Communications, Cablevision Systems, Mediacom Communications, Insight Communications, and CableOn, collectively serving more than 85% of cable customers in the US.

They may also offer to carry other, "value-added DTV programming that would create an incentive for consumers to purchase DTV sets," Sachs said. "The offer to carry qualifying broadcast stations assumes that broadcasters will deliver a good quality signal to the cable operator. Cable operators will begin immediately to place orders for integrated HD set-top boxes with digital connectors and provide these boxes to customers who request them."

He went on that cable operators will support consumers' purchase of HD set-tops from consumer electronics retailers and will advertise and market HDTV and any other "value-added DTV programming" they provide, using a, "broad variety of promotional tools.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Cable Industry Pledges Strong Support For Digital TV Transition Plan


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