COMMENTS OF ROB STODDARD, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
NATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION
ON THE FCC PRICE SURVEY RELEASED TODAY

July 8, 2003

“Although cable prices have increased, cable consumers are also enjoying increased value for their entertainment dollar. Compared with taking a family of four to a single movie, concert or professional sports event, a month of basic cable remains a superior entertainment value. Cable customers are enjoying greater choice and quality in basic channels plus additional optional digital TV services. They’re also watching more basic cable programming than ever before. During 2002 and the first half of 2003, viewership of basic cable networks surpassed primetime viewership of the broadcast networks, a trend that shows no signs of abating.

Cable prices reflect a variety of increasing costs facing cable operators. During the period covered by the FCC’s survey (July 1, 2001-June 30, 2002), operators invested more than $15 billion in system upgrades (an average of about $215 per cable customer) while incurring greater than inflationary increases in personnel and programming. These investments have resulted in more technically reliable systems, improved customer care, better programming quality and the launch of new cable services.”

More detailed information about this subject is contained in NCTA’s May 2003 White Paper “Cable Pricing, Value and Costs” posted on www.ncta.com.

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