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BAD news for sports fans who get...


BAD news for sports fans who get large doses of it from their TV sets.

Reviewing NBC's failure to attract as many fans as it had hoped to its expensive Olympic Triplecast on cable TV, the London Economist is predicting that pay-per-view purveyors will learn from this year's mistakes and come out as clear winners four years from now:

"When the next Olympics come around in four years' time,

pay-per-view technology will have changed out of all recognition.

"Fiber-optic cables will mean that almost all households will have enough free channels to take in a Triplecast -- expanding the potential market.

"Digital compression will mean that more information can be sent to viewers, creating a more attractive product.

"Marketing too will improve. The companies will learn, by bitter experience, how to price events and will work out why some -- like heavyweight prizefights -- sell, and others -- like the Olympics -- do not.

"One way or another, televised sport is going to get more expensive to watch."

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