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Kagan Panelists Hype SVOD

10/31/2002 2:44 AM Eastern

Subscription video-on-demand's ultimate role generated plenty of attention at
Wednesday's Kagan VOD Summit in New York.

'The real question is, will SVOD be a compelling application, what will it
cost to consumers and will consumers accept the cost?' Warner Bros. executive
vice president Jeffrey Calman asked a packed audience. 'Will it be a short-lived
phenomenon when personal video recorders take off?'

No way, answered Home Box Office interactive-services senior VP Sarah Cotsen,
whose HBO on Demand SVOD package is now in 40 cable systems around the
country.

'It's incredibly compelling,' she said. 'Once consumers get the model, they
get it. The questions we have to address are over how to educate customers and
market the service.'

That model 'will bury the PPV [pay-per-view] model and every other model
around,' added Starz Encore Group LLC president of distribution Que Spaulding.
'With PVRs, you have to do something with them. SVOD is just there.'

Although cable operators will incorporate hard-drive PVRs into their digital
set-tops, SVOD will flourish and -- with the rest of VOD -- alter TV-viewing
habits to the point where 'your subscribers will become on-demand subscribers if
you want to keep them,' Motorola Broadband Communications Sector senior VP Lou
Mastrocola said.

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