FCC report provides snapshot of video competition

The multichannel video programming distributor, MVPD, market continues to grow with cable’s share of the market at 69.4 percent and DBS operators at 27.7 percent, according to this year’s FCC report to Congress on the video programming delivery market.

The cable figure is down from almost 71.6 percent a year earlier, while the DBS share has grown from 25.1 percent in 2004. The report also found that Verizon and SBC (now AT&T) “hold promise to become a growing presence in the marketplace.”

The figures seem to be consistent with figures from Nielsen Media Research that show growing TV usage, the commission said. The average U.S. television household tuned into television 8 hours, 11 minutes per day between September 2004 and the same month a year later, the highest level since Nielsen Media Research began measuring viewing in the 1950s.

Among the key finding in the commission’s “12th Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming” are:

  • As of June 2005, there were 109.6 million TV households, compared to 108.4 million in June 2004. About 94.2 million TV households subscribed to an MVPD service, as compared to 92.2 million as of June 2004.
  • DBS operators continue to add local-into-local broadcast television service. In 167 of 210 television markets, covering 97 percent of all U.S. TV households, at least one DBS provider offers the signals of local broadcast stations.
  • There are 15.36 million U.S. TV households that do not subscribe to an MVPD service and thus rely solely on over-the-air broadcast television for their video programming, representing 14 percent of all U.S. TV households. The major broadcast networks now provide their most popular programming in high-definition. Hundreds of local stations are using their digital channels to provide multicast programming.
  • In 2005, the sale of DTV consumer electronics continued to accelerate with the average price of a DTV set expected to drop to $1189 in 2005 from $1489 a year earlier.
  • In 2005, 531 satellite-delivered national programming networks were identified. They included foreign-produced or foreign-language program channels. Of the 531 networks, 116 networks (21.8 percent) were vertically integrated with at least one cable operator. More than 51 percent, or 274, were not affiliated with any cable operator or other media entity.
  • In 2005, the commission identified 96 regional networks, the same number as last year. These networks provide programming of local or regional interest and are distributed to subscribers of one or more MVPDs in an area.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov.

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