World Brief

Cable households by the end of March nearly doubled in five years to reach 10.48 million, or almost 25% of TV households, according to the Japanese government.

The figure hits 18.73 million when provincial households receiving only retransmission of terrestrial programs from smaller cable operators are included.

The growth is attributed to the fast rollout of broadband Internet access services offered by cable operators. Such services have more than doubled to 201 last year, boosting the number of households subscribing to both cable and Internet services almost fourfold to 780,000 from 210,000.

The number of cable operators diminished to 646 last year, down 5.8% from 1999, because of mergers and acquisitions by major MSOs.

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