1986 has been heralded as the year that will establish pay-per-view as a significant revenue-producing business for the cable industry. The advent of satellite delivered programming in PPV format, along with the ever-expanding universe of addressable converters, have motivated many cable system operators to analyze the viability of the pay-per-view business in their own systems. Two essential elements must be examined in such analysis:
The anticipated volume of PPV program sales.
The capacity of the ordering mechanism which enables the subscriber to purchase a film or event.
This paper will present the penetration levels and peak ordering load distribution data from cable operators with extensive pay-per-view experience, and will evaluate the various ordering mechanisms currently available or in development. In the contexts of system size, PPV buy rates, and peak load handling requirements, examination of each technology's capacities and limitations will be provided to assist the cable operator in selecting the ordering mechanism most appropriate for his/her own application.