Lapas attēli
[blocks in formation]

Within each box, indicating a specific market type/system location, we further consider the two or three most likely lineups

of available local signals. While we have not reported every

combination which can occur, the cases tabulated are representative

of the majority of signal patterns to be encountered and they

cover a degree of variation sufficient to include most other




At the time Comanor and Mitchell's research was under

taken virtually no reliable statistical information was available

to quantify the effects on cable penetration of the number, types

and quality of local signals available, the additional cable

signals provided, the price of cable service and the incomes of

potential subscribers.

That study provided estimates of most of

these variables by use of multiple regression analysis on a randomly

selected sample of 149 systems drawn from the Television Factbook.

The authors noted that these systems were largely outside of

the top 100 markets or in areas of quite poor reception, or both.

Projection of penetration in the major markets under the then

proposed FCC rules (allowing four distant independent signals)

was recognized as subject to considerable error.

Since publication of the Comanor-Mitchell paper the measurement

of factors determining penetration has been advanced considerably

by Park in his study "Prospects for Cable in the 100 Largest

Television Markets."

Park uses statistical techniques closely

related to those employed earlier.

He improves on the Comanor

Mitchell study in three major ways:

First, all 63 cable systems analyzed by Park had at least

three A-contour, good reception-quality signals available off


Second, all data were verified with system operators by

telephone interview, insuring greater accuracy than available

from only published sources.

Third, two improved measures of signal quality were incor

porated into the analysis.

Distance of the cable system from

each transmitter was explicitly included, and UHF signals were

measured separately to account for more rapid signal attenuation

with distance and the absence of UHF tuners in some households.

The complete penetration equation as estimated by Park

measures the effects of the following variables:

..... number of off-the-air VHF signals, with separate

categories for networks, duplicate networks, inde-
pendent, educational and foreign signals; by distance
from transmitter

.....number of off-the-air UHF signals, by the same

categories; by distance from transmitter; with
measurement of UHF set penetration

..... number of cable signals, by the same categories

.....color set penetration

.. annual subscriber price

.....annual family income

Park's research is particularly appropriate to the present

assessment of the effect of alternative copyright fee schedules

on the viability of cable systems in the major markets.

In pro

jecting penetration rates for the systems studied here the average

figure predicted by Park's equation has generally been used, since this represents the central experience to be expected in the

major markets.

In addition, a selected number of intermediate

sized systems have been analyzed using penetration rated 33%

greater than predicted on average.

Such increased penetration

is definitely atypical, and would be expected to occur in only

about one out of ten market situations, because of factors not

fully accounted for in the penetration equation.



Density, the number of homes per cable mile, can vary

considerably from one potential franchise area to another.

Comanor and Mitchell reported an average density of 95 within

major markets, and 79 outside, in their sample of Factbook

systems. More recently available data for a number of munici

palities in the Dayton, Ohio and Boston, Massachusetts areas are

tabulated in the appendix,

For systems in this study we have

assumed somewhat higher densities than considered by Comanor

Mitchell, ranging from 80 homes per mile outside of television

markets up to 200 homes per mile with 20% of plant underground

in the central areas of markets 1-50.

In practice, of course, both higher and lower densities

will be encountered.

But the tendency to a substantially higher

figure for any important number of similar systems is unlikely

in view of the FCC's emphasis that it will not authorize carriage

of broadcast signals by systems which do not serve all parts of

the community. 3

3 Federal Register, p. 3276, $180

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