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Execs Hype Cable Advantages at Western Show

MSO executives touted cable’s competitive advantages over satellite companies during Wednesday’s opening general session at the final Western Show in Anaheim, Calif. Their "super duper cable triple play," as Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt described it, includes voice, video and data services like video-on-demand, broadband and more high-definition capacity.

MSO execs, including Comcast’s Brian Roberts and Adelphia’s Bill Schleyer, also said these services will help stave off the DBS threat. Competition from DirecTV and Dish Network, "requires all of us to make our business stronger with HD and VOD, the things that are difficult for [DBS] to deliver, and then talk about high speed and data," said Charter President and CEO Carl Vogel.

With Cox CEO Jim Robbins missing, the MSO chiefs weren’t as anxious to talk about rising sports rights. Cox and Fox Sports Net this week reached a new six-year deal, said to be giving Fox low double digit percent license fee increases. The deal keeps the Fox Sports regional nets on basic tiers and away from any sports tier. But the execs voiced mixed feelings about such tiers and most agreed sports programming should be widely available to subscribers, but costs are swirling out of control.