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Cablevision to Launch RS-DVR Service in April

3/23/2010 10:21 AM Eastern

Cablevision Systems said it
will begin rolling out its controversial
Remote Storage-Digital Video Recorder
in April and plans to have the
service available throughout its 3 million-
subscriber footprint by year-end.

On a conference call to discuss fourthquarter
results, chief operating officer
Tom Rutledge said Cablevision will roll
out the RS-DVR service in three phases,
starting with the ability to pause live TV,
which is currently in some employees’
homes. In April, a limited-function RSDVR
will be available. “By year-end we
intend to cease buying physical DVRs as
we begin deploying our network-based
DVR solution throughout our footprint,”
Rutledge said.

Cablevision was the first MSO to attempt
to launch a remote DVR, which
most cable operators believe is a more
cost-efficient technology than DVR settops.
The company attempted to test the
service in 2006, but was blocked by programmers
who claimed the service constituted
copyright infringement.

It won that case on appeal in 2008.
Since then, Cablevision has kept quiet
on the service, opting to confine trials
to its Long Island corporate campus
and select employee homes.

Separately, Rutledge also said on the
call that Cablevision is investigating
offering a wireless telephone service,
and has begun testing a phone that
would switch between Wi-Fi networks
and cellular telephone networks.

“The testing is so far proving to be good
and consistent with our view of what is
possible, and [it] gives us some hope
that we will be able to launch additional
products using the Wi-Fi network that
will look like what some people think of
as cellular telephone,” Rutledge said.

Cablevision outpaced estimates for
the fourth quarter, reporting revenue
of $2.2 billion (up 5%) and adjusted operating
cash fl ow of $682.8 million, an
increase of 13.5%. The MSO lost about
2,800 basic customers in the period, but
grew digital subscribers (up 4,800); highspeed
data customers (up 45,700) and telephony
subscribers (up 51,400).

 

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April