NCTA: 9 largest MSOs have issued only 618,000 CableCards for retail devices

The nation's nine biggest cable operators have deployed only around 618,000 CableCards for use in retail devices, according to the National Cable Telecommunications Association.

The NCTA revealed this benchmark in an Oct. 30 report to the FCC, as noted by Multichannel News. Two months earlier, in a report dated July 31, the NCTA told the agency that 617,000 CableCards had been deployed through TiVo DVRs, smart TVs and other retail devices -- meaning the retail deployment of CableCard increased by only 1,000 during this span. 

During this same two-month span, CableCards deployed through set-tops issued by the nine largest MSOs increased from 53 million to 54 million.

The metrics reveal how little the initiative has succeeded in the FCC's primary goal for CableCard, which was to grow the market for retail devices that could be used in the pay-TV ecosystem.

Currently, the requirement that cable operators must use the technology in their own set-tops is set to end this year.

Meanwhile, through its Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC), the FCC is looking for a replacement technology for CableCard.

Through the NCTA, the cable industry is arguing that a replacement technology isn't needed, since the deployment of TV Everywhere apps is already engaging devices ranging from iOS and Android mobile phones to Xbox One gaming consoles within the pay-TV ecosystem.

Technology companies including TiVo, Google and Amazon, meanwhile, have argued that the current app-based model is not providing a rich enough experience to consumers. 

The FCC has set a Nov. 9 reply comment deadline for proposals issued by DSTAC over the summer. 

For more:
- read this NCTA filing to the FCC
- read this Multichannel News story

Related articles:
Comcast promises to release self-service tool for CableCard activation
NCTA: There is no need for FCC's DSTAC to produce a CableCard successor for set-tops
DSTAC, CableCard, pay-TV apps and the future of the cable industry's $20B set-top business