Cable Connections

How to market the “triple play”

The Cable & Telecommunications Association of Marketing (CTAM)
recently released a report for its members called “Building DVR Ownership:
What's Next?” For all the attention DVRs have received, customer awareness
hovers below 50% (and as low as 32% for analog-cable subscribers). Seth
Morrison, who was promoted in December to SVP/GM, CTAM Corporate Initiatives,
discussed the report with B&C's Ken

Are you talking about consumers owning
or renting a DVR? TiVo isn't having great luck getting consumers to buy

Cable is moving toward the two-way, plug-and-play area. The leased model
is the best way to go until we get TV sets that have DVRs built into them.
Those will hit the market sometime in 2006.

DVRs seem like a great pitch to cable
subscribers. But what is the challenge from a marketing

The big challenge with all of the new products, including digital phone
and VOD, is deciding what works for you. Customers are being deluged with new
options and new technologies.

Should operators focus on promoting one
service? Or should they market the “triple play” of voice, video and

The best route is a combination. You need to promote each individually
to explain it, especially something like a PVR. When you talk to the customer
is when you actually sell them on the bundle. Customer interaction and
personalization is a key part of the process.

Everyone is talking about
fast-forwarding through ads.

Cable companies sell ads just like broadcasters, so we are concerned.
Having a constructive dialogue with Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the networks
is very important. The issue of blocking is a competitive one. If technology A
blocks fast-forward and technology B doesn't, somebody loses.

Can ad-skipping be removed from future

It's going to be very tough—unless everybody agrees to do it.