DBS grows at cable's expense


Cable's share of multichannel TV subscribers for the first time fell to
less than 80% last year, the FCC said Monday in its annual assessment of
competition in the video delivery business.

As of June 2001, 78% of multichannel customers subscribed to cable, down from
80% a year earlier.

Continuing a trend begun in the mid-90s, direct broadcast satellite usage
grew at a rate nearly twice that of cable.

DBS in June represented 18.2% of pay-TV subscribers, up from just under 18% a
year ago.

The total number of multichannel subs continued to increase, climbing 4.6% to
88.3 million households during the year.

Despite the decline in share, cable's raw subscriber number increased 1.9% to
69 million.

DBS customers totaled 16 million.