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Report: Cable Suppliers Supplant Offerings With Web Video

24 Nov, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Cable and satellite companies offer content online to fill holes in their offerings, according to a new report from ABI Research.

ABI said cable and satellite offer online video, or “over-the-top video,” to compete against Internet-based, ad-supported video Web sites. In 2008 both Dish Network and DirecTV, two of the largest TV operators in North America, have debuted Internet-connected set-top boxes, and Comcast is looking for ways to offer content on PCs, hoping to entice consumers who might otherwise be swayed by free, low-quality Internet-based content.

“Carrier-packaged over-the-top video delivery is a reality today in most markets,” said ABI research director Michael Wolf. “The fact is, broadband video is a way for some carriers to fill holes relative to larger closed-network operators such as cable MSOs (multisystem operators), and we think over time more satellite, telco and European terrestrial operators will utilize broadband video delivery as a component of their overall offering.”

Wolf offered as proof Comcast’s early interest in being a syndication partner of NBC Universal and News Corp.’s joint Web site Hulu, which has a portal for Comcast’s Fancast. He said some MSOs would act defensively by using bandwidth caps or other measures, but that others would see it as a liability not to offer their customers free, ad-supported streaming primetime content.

For more information about the ABI report, visit www.abiresearch.com, or call 516/624-2500.

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