Cable Finds New Ways Not to Say Yes
Right now cable is accelerating its role as the foremost provider—despite the strong assault from satellite operators and the nibbling from telephone companies. The dominance gives the already arrogant MSOs their ability to diddle with the proposals being foisted upon them.
This popped up in numerous ways at the convention. An oft-repeated story involved cable customers wanting to know when they could get video-on-demand movies. Consumers apparently still think of VOD as a form of Pay-Per-View, which is tied to a definite schedule. Given the cable industry's current focus on VOD, that ironic question underscores the industry's inability to articulate a VOD gameplan.
Throughout the cable convention, there were dialogues about the relationship between VOD and set-top Digital Video Recorders. Cable operators fretfully acknowledged that satellite companies currently have the jump on them when it comes to DVRs. Hence, there was considerable discussion about how DVRs can be integrated with the higher-margin VOD services.