Fred Dawson has an article in the March issue of Screenplays (registration required) on Comcast’s spending plans for 2008. Topping the cap ex agenda? Advanced advertising initiatives, set-tops, transitioning to an all-digital system and switched digital video. Apparently Comcast’s plans are in line with investor expectations, but that doesn’t mean the operator is pinching its pennies. HDTV growth is a revenue generator, and Comcast is clearly willing to spend money to make more HD content available.
Meanwhile, Comcast announced last November that it’s planning to have DOCSIS 3.0 deployed to 20% of its base by the end of 2008, suggesting that’s another line item on the cap ex spreadsheet. As broadband growth plateaus, competition increases and bandwidth-intensive applications skyrocket, DOCSIS 3.0 is a natural spending target. It will get some measureable amount of Comcast’s $6-billion-plus bankroll for the year.