VOD was heavily touted in CTAM Digital & Broadband’s closing session, with Insight [ICCI] svp Pamela Euler Halling saying the MSO’s seen a 60% reduction in digital churn for subs who use VOD vs those who don’t. Insight is about to trial a free on demand product in 2 systems. But if on demand is cable’s advantage, why is EchoStar calling its DVR product "On Demand?" "If you can’t do the other one, that’s what you’d say," Mediacom [MCCC] evp, ops John Pascarelli says. Halling says "shame on us" for letting that notion continue, noting a recent focus group equated on demand with satellite. She thinks cable should start pushing local on demand content. "That’s something they can’t do," she says. "That’s the next phase for on demand." Comcast [CMCSA] evp, biz dev Steve Silva foresees a News Corp-merged DirecTV allowing subs to vote in Fox’s "American Idol" using the DirecTV box, with results coming out the next day. "We shouldn’t allow that to happen because we can do that in real time," he says. "That will be sold against us, which is really amazing considering our networks."

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