NCTA: Pay TV Market `Fully Competitive'

9/11/2003 10:39 AM Eastern

Cable companies, their unquestioned power over pay TV subscribers a thing of
the past, today operate in a "fully competitive market," with cable and
satellite companies plying customers with an array of digital services, the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association said Thursday.

The NCTA -- in comments designed to inform the Federal Communications
Commission's annual cable-competition report for Congress -- said incumbent
cable-company market share has slipped to less than 75% due to surging growth by
direct-broadcast satellite competitors DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications
Corp., which combined serve 20 million subscribers.

"Consumers nationwide not only have a choice among providers of
multichannel-video programming, but the quality and array of video -- and
nonvideo -- services available from those providers has expanded enormously. New
competitors continue to grow and add customers every year, but competition in
the marketplace is already vibrant," the NCTA said.

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