Cable TV doubles its numbers

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The Independent Online

Media Editor

Britain's cable television business is generating revenue of about pounds 230m, compared with pounds 145m a year ago, the Independent Television Commission says.

In quarterly statistics compiled by the industry regulator the average cable television subscriber is shown as paying pounds 23.32 a month, including VAT, compared with pounds 22.61 a year ago.

The number of cable subscribers reached 963,000 by 1 April, compared with 642,000, a 50 per cent rise. But the leap in cable homes taking telephone services has been even more dramatic. Some 872,573 cabled homes have installed telephone services, compared with 376,795 a year ago.

However, the statistics show that cable continues to suffer from poor marketing. Only 21.4 per cent of homes passed by cable actually ask to be connected. In all some 5.165 million homes could be connected.

The statistics also show that cable operators have variable degrees of success in attracting premium pay channel subscribers: Telewest does best, followed by Caledonian Media, Videotron and Bell Cablemedia.