Consumers Seek New Digital Features


New features such as video-on-demand, subscription VOD and personal video
recorders can help to drive subscriptions to digital cable, according to results
of a Horowitz Associates Inc. study released Wednesday.

For its 'State of Digital and Interactive Television' report, the research
firm surveyed 805 cable- and satellite-television customers in markets where
digital cable is available. Of those polled, 25 percent subscribe to digital
cable and another 17 percent said they were likely to do so.

Also, 43 percent of those polled said a VOD service offering older titles for
$1 to $2 per movie would increase their likelihood of buying digital cable or
upgrading to a more robust digital-cable package. And 41 percent said a VOD
service that charges $3.95 per movie would also increase their likelihood to
subscribe or upgrade.

When Horowitz asked consumers if they would be interested in paying $4 extra
per month for SVOD basic programming or $6 extra per month for SVOD premium
services, 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively, said they would be.

One one-half of digital-cable and direct-broadcast satellite customers said a
PVR device for $6.95 per month would appeal to them.

Currently, DirecTV Inc. customers pay a monthly fee for PVR service from TiVo
Inc., but EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network customers pay no monthly
fee for the company's own digital-video-recording service.