Study: New Services Boosting ARPU

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Cable operators are seeing their average revenue per unit rise largely due to new digital-cable services, according to a survey from In-Stat (a sister company to Multichannel News).

In-Stat refers to the new services -- HDTV, video-on-demand, digital-video recorders, high-speed data and telephony -- as “multi-play," saying they are going far beyond the so-called triple play of voice, video and data.

A total of 50 systems were surveyed, representing a mix of operator sizes and market locations. Of those, 78% reported increases in ARPU over the past 12 months, and the respondents reported that more than 90% of their subscribers now have access to digital-cable services.

“Cable operators are aware of competition that is coming from major telephone companies, but the cable industry has a substantial head start and the future continues to look bright," analyst Gerry Kaufhold said in a prepared statement.

“According to respondents, HDTV is more widely available than VOD services,” he added. “PVR [personal-video-recorder] services are also experiencing fast growth, and cable-telephony services are gaining ground, as well. High-speed-data services, delivered via cable modems, are helping cable companies to obtain new business customers, as well as providing continuing strong ARPU growth among their subscribers."