Pay-TV services such as HBO, Showtime and Starz have proved to be an exception to the rule when it comes to people's cutting back in a down economy. As Eric Kessler, co-president of HBO, explains it: "During tough economic times, consumers look for value. For less than two movie tickets or the price of a DVD, they receive a full slate of theatrical films for a month, plus all of HBO's award-winning original programming."

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