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Cable Industry Values Bundle To Consumers at $35 Billion Annually: NCTA

The cable industry has valued the benefits of bundled voice, video and data to consumers at $35 billion a year and, increasingly, subscribers are taking advantage of those benefits.

That came in comments to the Federal Communications Commission in its annual assessment of the state of video competition. The agency has asked for more information on bundling, and NCTA appeared happy to oblige.

That $35 billion is a combination of "enormous cost savings, lower prices and enhancement in value to consumers" said NCTA, thanks to "vigorous" competition.

As evidence the trade association offers up a study it commissioned from economists Michael Pelcovits and Abigail Ferguson of Microeconomic Consulting & Research Associates.

The researchers said they were able to get bundled service figures from the top three cable operators, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox (accounting for about 2/3 of total subs). According to those three, 23% of subs were taking a triple play of cable, Internet and phone, in 2008, up from 10.14% in 2007.

NCTA said it might have more to say on the bundling subject in reply comments Aug. 28, since some data is not yet available.

The FCC is trying to play catch-up and roll three years of video competition reports into one.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.