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Digital Cable by the Numbers


I’ve been wondering about cable digital subscriber numbers in the wake of the Seven-Oh-Seven deadline. Comcast had a major promotional push going on prior to the deadline, presumably in the hopes of clearing out its inventory of non-CableCARD set-tops. Did it pay off in digital subscribers? Yes, it did. In spades.

One year ago, Comcast was at a digital penetration rate of 48%. Six months ago that number was up to 52%. In the latest earnings report from last month, the percentage was 59%. That’s percentage growth in the last six months at almost twice the rate of growth in the previous six months.

Meanwhile, Time Warner’s percentage of digital subscribers rose from 52% at the end of September 2006, to 58% at the end of the most recent quarter. Considerable growth, but obviously not at the rate Comcast has managed.

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