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'Sopranos' boost HBO subscriptions
Cable companies hit a high note with 'The Sopranos'

 David Chase, creator and producer of the hit HBO series 'The Sopranos,' poses on a set at Silvercup Studios in New York.
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Date published: 3/11/2006



The season premiere of HBO's "The Sopranos" has local cable companies watching for increased business.

Subscriptions to the network have jumped just in time for fans to tune in for new season of the hit television drama series about a mob family in northern New Jersey.

The Emmy Award-winning series will air a new show tomorrow night at 9 p.m. for the first time since the Season 5 finale in June of 2004.

Cox Communications spokesman Alex Horwitz said HBO orders have jumped by nearly 30 percent in the past two weeks.

"We've seen a very sharp increase in HBO sales in anticipation of 'The Sopranos' season premiere," he said.

He said it is typical for cable companies to see a spike in sales of a particular network when a popular show returns. This was the case for other HBO hit shows such as "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet Under," and for pay-per-view boxing matches, he said.

"Customers are very savvy in the sense that they are in tune with the latest entertainment offerings," Horwitz said. "A lot of the orders come in the day of or the day before the show comes on."

Adelphia, which provides cable service to about 43,000 customers in North Stafford and parts of Spotsylvania, took advantage of the long-anticipated arrival of "The Sopranos" by using it to lure new customers.

Its promotion offers up to 175 channels of Adelphia Cable, including HBO, at $39.99 per month for three months with free installation.

"We have featured the return of 'The Sopranos' on HBO in our recent marketing and promotional materials, and we have certainly noticed an increase in subscriptions over the past two weeks or so," said Michael Jagoe, Adelphia's marketing manager for the Northern Virginia area.

And if a viewer is worried about missing an episode of "The Sopranos" they can fuhgetaboudit, because Adelphia customers also get HBO on Demand without charge, Jagoe said.

Cable customers aren't the only ones who are jumping on the "Sopranos" bandwagon--some wireless customers can, too.

This week, Cingular Wireless announced the availability of streaming video service on video-capable mobile phones.

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