Study: 4.8M VOD-Capable Homes by 2003


Thanks to aggressive video-on-demand rollouts to help cable operators rein
in the direct-broadcast satellite threat, 4.8 million North American households
will be VOD-capable by the end of 2002, forecast research firm Allied Business
Intelligence Inc.

In addition to higher per-subscriber revenue and lower churn rates, VOD is
also becoming a favorite among cable operators because it's a unique weapon they
can wield against satellite providers such as EchoStar Communications Corp. and
DirecTV Inc.

When VOD evolves beyond movies on-demand to include subscription-based
flavors from premium and basic channels, the service 'will become an
instrumental component in digital-tier service,' ABI director of residential and
networking technologies Navin Sabharwal said.

An evolution toward so-called everything-on-demand is also set to create a
huge VOD-server market.

ABI predicted that VOD's global equipment market will grow from $108 million
in 2001 to $186 million in 2002.

Momentum and demand tied to cable operators, as well as telcos, will help
newer VOD players such as Sun Microsystems Inc. and Silicon Graphics Inc. to
compete with leaders such as Concurrent Computer Corp., SeaChange International
Inc. and nCUBE.

According to ABI's new study, 'Video-on-Demand:
Infrastructure Issues and Service Offerings,' SeaChange and Concurrent led 2001
with respective market shares of 40 percent and 28 percent.