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Cable TV 2006 Competitive Threats

Media Week reports, Yankee Group senior analyst Adi Kishore notes that �the last two quarters haven�t been very good for DirecTV and DISH Network,� adding that cable�s triple-play bundle of digital video, phone and high-speed Internet service has �begun having an impact.�

Nor is Verizon�s FiOS TV service expected to create many ripples in �06. �We�ve read and reread �the telco video story� numerous times over the past decade,� said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst of the Leichtman Research Group. �Unfortunately, each reading seems to end with the last several chapters of the book ripped out.�

Perhaps the biggest issue facing cable in �06 is the � la carte issue, which was brought back wriggling into the light in November when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said that he considered backing such a pricing plan. While Time Warner Cable and Comcast countered with mollifying family tier options, almost no one expects the FCC to press � la carte into service any time soon.

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