Seattle -- The cable industry needs to build on the lead it has with
high-speed-data provision by adding new services and applications, including
premium-content services, RealNetworks Inc. CEO Rob Glaser told CTAM Summit
opening general-session attendees here.
"Don’t ignore that big green line," Glaser said Tuesday, pointing to a slide
showing that high-speed data was a larger profit-driver in 2002 than video.
"That’s your growth driver in the industry today," he added, rather than trying
to jump-start other businesses.
Further, the growth in worldwide digital subscriber lines will help to drive
equipment prices down for telco rivals, allowing them to keep prices low and
perhaps gain share. "If cable rests on its laurels, DSL will gain share, just as
DBS [direct-broadcast satellite] did," he said.
With DSL providers lowering prices, cable "needs to have something that
scoops customers so they start on the cable on ramp," Glaser said.
"Cable has unique assets to leverage," he added, notably including local-TV
avails to promote Internet content, high-speed Internet portals and brand
Glaser showcased parts of RNI’s portfolio, including "Real Arcade," which
Comcast Corp. is rolling out, as well as Big Brother footage and "PGA
Glaser also showcased some new formats, including "H.264," which can showcase
vibrant HDTV-type experiences online using "RealPlayer 9."
"You have double- and triple-play bundles," he said. "Service integration is
hard for DBS and telcos to do."
Glaser described a future where operators could offer a broadband basic
high-speed package that includes local news, sports and Internet radio at speeds
of up to 256 kilobits per second.
An expanded broadband basic package would go up to 1.5 megabits per second
and include Real Arcade, or Rhapsody (Real’s Internet-radio service), or
On top of that tier, operators could sell games, music and other services a
"New services are here today that can drive the next wave of growth," Glaser
concluded. "Cable is well-positioned as long as you focus on marketing and
distributing these great new services."