By Mavis Scanlon It’s not that easy to compare cable’s average revenue per subscriber to satellite because of the different ways cable and satellite companies report their numbers. Including broadband, telephony and video services, cable operators such as Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Comcast generate the highest revenue per subscriber in the telecommunications industry. DirecTV, however, is the clear leader on a pure video basis, even though DBS rival Dish Network’s revenue per subscriber is growing faster. In the fourth quarter, Dish’s average revenue per sub grew 10% over last year—far faster than cable’s basic and digital revenue growth on a per subscriber basis. But Dish’s subscriber acquisition costs increased as well, as the company heavily promoted its lower-priced packages and its DVR service. Dish’s average revenue per subscriber growth could slow as more subscribers pile into its popular lowest-priced programming option, America’s Top 60, rather than signing up for its higher-priced America’s Top 180 and America’s Everything Pack.

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