Using a 2004 cross-sectional database of digital cable systems in the U.S., we provide new evidence that the effects of vertical ownership ties between systems and programming suppliers persist in spite of extensive channel capacity expansion, as well as new competition from direct broadcast satellites. Focusing on four program network groups (basic outdoor entertainment, basic cartoon, basic movie, and premium movie), we generally find that integrated cable systems carry their affiliated networks more frequently and carry unaffiliated rival networks less frequently—a pattern identified by previous studies using data prior to DBS or the capacity expansion effects of digital cable. We also find that integrated systems that do carry rival networks often position them on digital tiers having more limited subscriber access, a pattern not investigated in previous studies.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 17, 2007
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