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New Competition for Cable and Satellite TV

Boot Camp feature for Monday, March 29, 2004

Some new competition for cable and satellite. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's sort of like a back to the future concept. A start up called U.S. Digital Television is announced plans for a national roll out of a service that will offer channels typically found only on cable over the air. Customers will return to using those good old roof top antennas. USDTV chief executive Steve Lindsley…

"We use the excess channel capacity that broadcasters have available. In the digital environment, a broadcaster can send up to five or six or even seven separate and distinct digital channels from one television station. We contract with the broadcasters to have them distribute, to have them transmit the best cable programming and then we share the revenues with the broadcasters."

A 19.95 a month price is what the company hopes will attract subscribers. At least one premium movie channel will be available for an additional charge. Another selling point…the receivers…which will sell for 99 dollars at Wal-Mart stores…decode high definition signals. How big can USDTV get? Lindsley says rising prices for cable and satellite services have created an opportunity…

"We think that cable and satellite are leaving behind millions of homes, quite frankly, who don't see the value in the digital services."

A look at the rooftops in your neighborhood will tell you if the company is succeeding. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.