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Subscription TV Share Gains and Losses

Cable MSOs lost 1.4 million subscribers in the year ending November 2005, and its market penetration hit a 13-year low of 64.8 percent, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising, an industry trade group.

The TVB analyzed Nielsen Media Research data for November 2005 and concluded that 20.8 percent of households receiving subscription television now get it from alternative sources, led by Direct Broadcast Satellite companies with 20.2 percent of the market, up from 19.2 percent in November 2004. In 42 markets nationally, alternative distribution methods now reach more than 30 percent of the market, according to the TVB.

The trade group listed 10 major markets in which alternative distribution methods reach about 30 percent of the market, including Salt Lake City; Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M.; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Greenville-Sparta-Asheville, N.C.; Stockton, Calif.; St. Louis; Memphis; Birmingham, Ala.; Los Angeles; and Denver.

�Advertisers who buy cable locally need to know that local wired cable systems' ability to deliver commercials continues to erode. In fact, 42 markets now have penetration of 30 percent or more,� said Susan Cuccinello, senior vice president of research for TVB, in a prepared statement. �Local cable commercials are not seen in ADS homes, and so local advertisers need to deduct the ADS percentage of the audience if they are included in the cable systems' submissions.�

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