Study Examines Growth of Cable, Technology

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Westfield, N.J. -- The number of
multichannel-video-provider homes receiving at least 80 channels has doubled in the past
year, according to a new survey conducted by Statistical Research Inc.

The study from SMART (Systems for Measuring and Reporting
Television) also found that home-computer ownership has risen by five percentage points,
and that one-quarter of all households are now online.

The SMART survey further revealed that in the two years
since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, there has been significant growth
in both overall and higher-revenue ($50-plus-per-month) cable subscriptions. Both
categories are up 4 percent, compared with 1 percent growth in the two years prior to the

The survey, conducted from January to April, also found
that the proportion of homes with multiple VCRs has risen to 37 percent.

For the surveys, "Television Ownership" (TVO)
measured the presence of sets and related devices (VCRs and video games) and services
(cable or satellite reception) in 2,920 homes. "Home Technology" (HT) covered
telephones, computers and their services in 2,856 homes.

Other TVO findings included:

• The average home now has 2.4 sets and 2.6

• 76 percent of households now have wired
cable (68 percent) or satellite (8 percent) reception;

• The proportions of homes with 40-plus and
80-plus channels have risen by eight percentage points (from 37 percent to 45 percent for
40-plus, and from 7 percent to 15 percent for 80-plus); and

• 60 percent of households have stereo sets,
13 percent home-theater systems and 8 percent "personal" sets with a maximum
screen size of six inches.

The HT study found that:

• One-third of households have computers with
CD-ROM drives (33 percent), enhanced audio (33 percent) or a modem (32 percent);

• The proportion of households that are online
has doubled since 1996 (25 percent, from 12 percent) and tripled since 1995 (8 percent);

• The proportion of persons aged 12-plus who
have gone online in the past 60 days has doubled since 1996 (34 percent from 17 percent);

• 96 percent of home Internet users go online
via regular phone lines, with 21 percent having dedicated phone lines for their computers.