Digital cable grew 22% in 2003

Although the total number of
worldwide cable TV subscribers increased last year, the rate of growth
in 2003 was the slowest in over a decade. However, even with the recent
slow-down in worldwide growth, total cable TV subscribers are projected
to reach 395 million by 2007. According to In-Stat/MDR, cable TV subscriber growth will result from not
only cable television operators’ ability to attract new subscribers to
their traditional analog video services, but also from recently deployed
digital video, voice, and data services. The high-tech market research
also reports that while annual cable TV subscriber growth was tracking
around 3% in 2003, digital cable TV subscriber growth reached 22% during
the same time frame.

Even with rapid digital subscriber growth, the modest total subscriber
growth rate is forcing many cable TV operators to re-focus their
customer acquisition strategies. Cable television growth in North
America and Europe has dramatically flattened over the past two to three
years, and this has been an unwelcome trend for many cable TV Multiple
Systems Operators (MSOs) who have been counting on new subscribers to
increase their revenues.

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