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Fitch: Diversification Is Positioning Growth of U.S. Cable MSOs.

CHICAGO -- U.S. cable multiple system operators (MSOs) continue to diversify their customer and revenue bases, setting the foundation for future revenue growth and average revenue per user (ARPU) expansion), according to Fitch Ratings.

Cable MSOs added a record 2.95 million revenue-generating units (RGUs) in Q1 of 2006, 69% higher than the RGU growth for the prior-year period and 29% higher on a sequential basis. The MSOs added approximately 891,000 digital subscribers in Q1, reflecting a 71% year-over-year increase and the MSOs offering of a more robust video service. Subscriber growth for high-speed data and other services was also up across the industry.

Fitch attributes the continued stability of the basic subscriber base in part to the success cable MSOs are having with the introduction of telephony service and their triple-play offering. Fitch also believes that enhancements to the video on demand, digital video recorders (DVRs), and the high-definition tier also contribute to this stabilization.

The Fitch Ratings report, 'Quarterly Cable MSO Aggregates and Comparative Statistics,' is intended to provide investors a source of timely information and analysis of operating trends in the U.S. cable industry and its key operators. Aggregate financial information is tracked for the top seven U.S. MSOs. The full report is available on www.fitchratings.com.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 13, 2006
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