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SEC Filings

RENAISSANCE MEDIA GROUP LLC filed this Form 10-K405 on 03/31/1999
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   DBS service currently has certain competitive advantages and disadvantages
compared to cable service. DBS service provides more programming and greater
channel capacity and digital quality of the signals delivered to subscribers.
The disadvantages of DBS service compared to cable service include high up-
front customer equipment and installation costs and a lack of local
programming and local service.
   Currently, satellite program providers are only authorized to provide the
signals of television network stations to subscribers who live in areas where
over-the-air reception cannot be received. Congress is presently considering
legislation which will enhance the ability of DBS providers to transmit local
broadcast signals to local markets and if adopted, will likely improve the
competitive position of DBS providers against cable operators.
   The availability of reasonably-priced home satellite dish earth stations,
commonly called HSDS, enables individual households to receive many of the
satellite-delivered program services formerly available only to cable
subscribers. Furthermore, the 1992 Cable Act contains provisions, which the
FCC has implemented with regulations, to enhance the ability of cable
competitors to purchase and make available to HSDS owners certain satellite-
delivered cable programming at competitive costs.
   Programming is currently available to the owners of HSDS through
conventional, medium and high-powered satellites. PrimeStar, a consortium
comprised of several multiple system operators and a satellite company,
commenced operation in 1990 of a medium-power DBS satellite system using the
Ku portion of the satellite frequency spectrum and currently provides service
consisting of approximately 160 channels of programming, including broadcast
signals and pay-per-view services. Two major companies, DirecTV and EchoStar
Communications Corporation, are currently offering nationwide high-power DBS
services. DirecTV and Primestar recently reported that DirecTV and its parent
company have acquired Primestar's medium-power DBS business and are acquiring
the high-power DBS business of Tempo, a subsidiary of Primestar. EchoStar
recently announced that it is acquiring a high-power DBS license from MCI
Telecommunications Corporation and two DBS satellites currently under
construction from News Corp. Various agencies of the federal government must
still approve these transactions; however, if they are completed, DirecTV and
EchoStar will significantly enhance the number of channels on which they can
provide programming to subscribers and will improve significantly their
competitive positions against cable operators. The Company is unable to
predict the impact DirecTV's and EchoStar's enhanced operations may have on
its business and operations as a result of these transactions.
   The degree to which DBS service providers will be able to compete with the
cable television industry will depend on, among other factors, the
availability of reception equipment at reasonable prices and whether DBS
providers will be permitted to offer local broadcast signals in their program
packages. Although it is not possible at this time to predict the likelihood
of success of any DBS services venture or the effect that it will have on the
company's business. DBS may offer substantial competition to the cable
television industry.
   While DBS presents a competitive threat, the Company currently has excess
channel capacity available in most of its systems, as well as strong local
customer service and technical support, which will enhance its ability to
compete. By selectively increasing channel capacities of systems to between 78
and 110 channels and introducing new premium channels, pay-per-view and other
services, the Company will seek to maintain programming parity with DSS and
competitive service price points. The Company will continue to monitor closely
the activity level and the product and service needs of its customer base to
counter potential erosion of its market position or unit growth to DSS.
   Cable television systems also compete with wireless program distribution
services such as MMDS, which uses low power microwave frequencies to transmit
video programming over the air to customers. Additionally, the FCC recently
adopted new regulations allocating frequencies in the 28 GHz band for a new
multichannel wireless video service called Local Multipoint Distribution
Service that is similar to MMDS, and the FCC initiated spectrum auctions for
LMDS licenses in February 1998. Wireless distribution services generally
provide many of the programming services provided by cable systems, and
digital compression technology and recently