The future of entertainment has never looked so close.
In 2006, Cablevision Systems
Of course, content creators like Walt Disney
Speaking at a UBS media conference yesterday, COO Tom Rutledge said that Cablevision is ready to deploy its network DVR sometime in 2009. The service is already running internally on the corporate campus, allowing engineers to smooth out any rough spots and fine-tune the service before a broad rollout.
A U.S. Court of Appeals decision threw out the studios' copyright issues with keeping a central cache of user recordings, and it's not clear whether the Supreme Court will hear the case. If not, the coast is clear to open a whole new world of video recording. And that's a big deal.
Nielsen reports that 25% of American homes had a DVR in July, 2008. If and when Cablevision pushes out a software update to its digital set-top boxes, some 60% of the company's customers could get the DVR service -- saving a troublesome and expensive house call with new hardware. The cost savings add up to $100 for every home passed, times three million Cablevision households, and the lack of intrusive installation appointments may encourage more users to sign up. DVR owners tend to watch more TV than others, and are less likely to switch to another cable provider.
This is why cable giants like Comcast
Cable Industry 1, Hollywood 0. Go, Cablevision!
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Disney, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.