Introduction. 1. Superior broadband technology. 2. Economics of the legacy content distribution model. 3. Favorable regulatory status quo

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2 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Introduction The cable industry has generated impressive growth over the last half decade, building on its traditional strengths of superior technology, an attractive content distribution model and a positive regulatory environment. U.S. multiple-system operators (MSOs) have generated an average total return to shareholders of seventeen percent, while U.S. cable MSOs have performed even better, at eighteen percent. According to Accenture research, this strong performance has been driven primarily by top-line revenue growth 3.3 percent growth on a five-year CAGR basis. In the near term, continued growth is likely; one analyst forecasts 3.7 percent growth between now and Yet, there are several storm clouds appearing on the horizon: Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is declining with increased competition from new entrants including telcos and OTT (over-the-top) players; content creators are increasingly looking to bypass middle men distributors; and technology is rapidly changing, with super-platform players increasingly moving across industry verticals. Complacency can be an enemy of high performance (sustained excellence over multiple technology and market cycles), especially given the rapid changes in the $2 trillion communications, media and technology industries. Cable MSOs have an opportunity to seize the value-growth opportunities that these potential disruptors are creating. In our view, this revenue and value growth has been enabled by three structural advantages: 1. Superior broadband technology 2. Economics of the legacy content distribution model 3. Favorable regulatory status quo 2

3 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Four potential disruptors? Through research, in-depth discussions with our clients, and Accenture s broad experience with MSOs and their competitors worldwide, we have identified four potential disruptors that MSOs need to prepare for in order to continue to grow their value. Each disruptor also provides an opportunity for MSOs to respond in innovative and value-generating ways. Disruptor 1: Explosion of mobile data, devices and usage ($25-50 Billion potential impact on value) Ubiquitous mobile broadband networks constitute a potential threat to the core broadband business that has been the biggest contributor to MSO growth in recent years. The expansion of 3G and LTE (4G) networks and services, as well as Wi-Fi deployments, has been extraordinary. Mobile data and the increasing pervasiveness of mobile devices is another trend affecting the future of the cable industry. In light of these trends and as ubiquitous and high-speed wireless broadband services become available, as more content (including free content) is provided outside of the traditional broadband setting, and as consumer device preferences evolve in an environment of high-tech innovation, cable companies need to ask what happens to the value of the fixed-line network, and an immovable set-top box. Disruptor 2: Disintermediation and value chain migration ($15-25 Billion potential impact on value) For a considerable time, the fundamental value chain of the TV ecosystem has been relatively stable, with established boundaries between the various players. Now, because of convergence, the lines separating the different types of companies equipment manufacturers, distributors and aggregators are blurring, and new sources of competition are arising from high-tech and software firms offering an integrated stack of services, applications, operating systems, devices and chipsets. In the past, MSOs have benefited from providing the platform that connects content to consumers. However, there is a risk that linear broadcast viewing will become less important over time, particularly among younger consumers. These fundamental changes in the value chain are likely to have profound effects within the ecosystem. 1 Explosion of mobile data, devices and usage 2 Disintermediation and video value chain migration $25-50 Billion $15-25 Billion 3 Integrated super-platforms 4 Digital Services Operating Model $30-40 Billion $16-32 Billion Emerging distributors Potential Impact on value 3

4 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Disruptor 3: Integrated digital super platforms ($30-40 Billion potential impact on value) Major Internet, software and hightech companies are becoming super platforms, integrating multiple digital capabilities that were formerly separate components of the value chain. The potential competitive advantages of these providers go beyond the product offerings themselves. Operationally, these players have a significantly different scale and business model one not based on monthly fees for service, but rather on advertising. Thus, they are able to provide voice and data services rivaling those offered by MSOs, merely as additional features (rather than standalone offerings). 4 Disruptor 4: Digital operating models for delivering customer service ($16-32 Billion potential impact on value) Over-the-top competitors are redefining the value proposition and operating economics of the video, voice and data markets. This new generation of digital players has a lean, modular and highly scalable operating model, riding on top of the MSOs capital investments and costs of installation, customer care, service assurance and successfully avoiding direct (and expensive) customer service in many areas. For MSOs, programming costs continue to increase by almost 10 percent each year. Something has to give, and many margin-challenged companies in other industries (take the airlines, for example) have traditionally compromised in the area of customer service and pared back their offerings. As this is not a viable option for MSOs, incumbent cable companies must respond either by differentiating on the basis of their service or by fundamentally reinventing their services as they reinvent their own economics and cost structure.

5 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Opportunities to turn disruption into competitive advantage Cable operators need to be sure they do not repeat the mistakes of companies that have been so successful on one product maturity curve or during one generation of technologybased offerings that they fail to make the jump to a new product maturity curve. Accenture believes that in order to seize new value growth opportunities amid the threat of disruption, cable operators should focus on five key opportunities Opportunity #1: Increase the pace of next-generation products and services Traditionally, the time for bringing a new idea to market in the cable industry has been long, with little competitive pressure to make it faster. Today, it s a different story. Newer players in the communications, media and technology industry have significant advantages when it comes to innovation. Cable operators have an opportunity to learn from leading practices such as: Becoming more disciplined about mobility innovation. Successful innovators are disciplined and methodical in their approach to R&D, which enables them to identify successful products faster. Cable operators could benefit from the ability to more quickly identify, incubate and commercialize new products and services that integrate existing assets with mobility. Opportunity #1: Increase the pace of next-generation products and services Opportunity #2: Reinvent the operator role in the distribution channel Opportunity #3: Transform the customer value proposition Opportunity #4: Improve the ability to attract top talent Opportunity #5: Extend the marketplace footprint 5 Developing more cooperative approaches to innovation. Open innovation is another capability that is increasingly important in a market place where and achieving superiority at every potential step in the value chain by going it alone is no longer a viable option. Cooperation beyond a company s borders even with competitors will be essential. Growing scope through business model innovation. The imperative to innovate applies not only to products and services, but also to business models. One potential strategy is to expand and monetize Wi-Fi network deployments by providing managed Wi-Fi network services and then monetizing the user data that flows over those networks. Acquisitions as well as federation of MSO assets are additional ways to build national reach and more effectively compete with wireless data providers.

6 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Opportunity #2: Reinvent the operator role in the distribution channel A critical threat to continued value growth for MSOs is disruption of their core paid video business. By repositioning their role in the overall distribution value chain, MSOs can take advantage of several new growth opportunities: Lead the transformation of the customer video experience. MSOs have a significant opportunity to deliver value by focusing on the creation of an engaging interface and viewing experience that combines traditional video distribution with IP-based services and in the near future also integrates social media with programming, social networking and communications services. Maximize the value of the channel through analytics-based insights. The ability to use analytics to better understand customers viewing habits and desires is another potentially differentiating capability for cable operators. As distributors, the cable companies know better than anyone other player in the ecosystem what consumers are actually watching, how often they change channels, what ads they watch and what information they are sharing. This knowledge, enhanced by advanced analytics capabilities, can be monetized in several ways by improving the value delivered to consumers, advertisers and content creators. Opportunity #3: Transform the customer value proposition With so many entertainment options available to customers, and with higher expectations for efficient customer service, MSOs need to transform the manner in which they understand and serve their customers. Deliver an integrated customer experience. Cable operators have a significant opportunity to claim a high-value role at the center of the super platform trend by integrating the customer experience across multiple devices, platforms and users within a household or account. In this way, the MSO can become the primary communications hub for the subscriber, providing integration of services as well as a unifying experience across the different offerings. Enable Customer Care 2.0 capabilities. The maturation of digital technology, online self-service and social media has paved the way for what Accenture calls customer care 2.0. Social media, for example, gives customers a way to communicate experiences and needs directly to a company and to receive customer service that is faster and more convenient. Attracting customers to online self-service channels is also vital, which requires MSOs to provide interactions that are personalized, knowledgeable and consumer-friendly. Opportunity #4: Improve the ability to attract top talent Many of the Internet companies and super platform providers benefit from a culture that embraces youth and offers a corporate culture that encourages and embraces innovation. Succeeding in the new era of competition in the communications, media and technology industries will require attracting and retaining that kind of talent at all levels, across engineering, analytics, marketing and other key business functions. At the highest level, companies will need a comprehensive human capital strategy that addresses the areas of talent, culture, leadership and organization in order to put the right leaders in place to source, develop and direct the right workforce talent, supported by the right culture, organizational and operating model. 6

7 Finding Opportunity in Disruption: Driving a New Era of Value Growth in the Cable Industry Opportunity #5: Extend the marketplace footprint Conclusion In the past, cable companies faced the constraint of their footprint their service area and the number of consumers and businesses within that area. Today, new sources of competition in the form of mobile and superplatform companies that are global in scale and not confined by a sense of a footprint at all necessitates a new way of thinking. Accenture has identified five potential strategies for cable providers to expand outside their traditional footprint. Over-the-top services outside of the footprint. This involves developing applications that allow a MSO to serve its own customers when they leave the footprint, and at the same time creates a communications hub. Shared go-to-market services across MSOs. This go-to-market approach employs a collaboration model (one that potentially entails cooperation among competitors) as a means to provide services outside an MSO s typical footprint. In addition, it entails the support of multi-location business customers by pooling data and voice access across MSOs. Domestic acquisitions. After a relatively quiet period, domestic acquisitions are back in play as companies assess their options for achieving growth at scale. Consolidation could help MSOs better fend off competition from telcos and super-platform providers, provide the clout required to reduce programming and hardware purchasing costs, and increase advertising sales efficiency. Technology wholesaling. Technology wholesaling is another opportunity for MSOs to expand their available market while reducing capital costs by licensing elements of the platform to service providers outside of the footprint. International expansion. Globally, the cable industry is forecast to be a nearly $118 billion business by The question for US cable companies is how to grab more of that global market share. Opportunities exist to grow organically or inorganically in emerging markets. As mentioned previously, complacency is the enemy of high performance especially given the rapid changes taking place in the $2 trillion communications, media and technology industries. Many players that were industry powerhouses just a decade ago have fallen on tough times or have been sold to other companies. Cable MSOs need to prepare for competitive threats that will change the drivers of value in the industry faster in the next five years than they have in the previous fifty. But the major market disruptors that threaten cable MSOs also contain various seeds of opportunity. The actions highlighted here (achieving greater pace in product and services innovation; attracting and retaining the kind of talent needed to deliver such innovation; reinventing cable s traditional role in the distribution channel; and extending the market footprint) all represent opportunities to continue to grow value. Underlying all of these opportunities is an imperative to improve service while also reducing costs by evolving the traditional cable operating model. Regionalized, decentralized operating models are becoming too inefficient; the ability to seize new, transformational opportunities will require rethinking all aspects of the operating model The communications and entertainment marketplace is changing rapidly, but by embracing innovation and key operational changes, the cable industry will be poised for yet another era of value growth. 7

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