DBS Study: Subs Are Happy

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A study of direct-broadcast satellite customers by The
Yankee Group indicated high satisfaction rates among new owners and longtime subscribers
alike.

"Our findings are that consumers really do love this
product," said Bruce Leichtman, director of media strategies for The Yankee Group, at
a recent SkyForum conference in New York. The study, which is set to be released in July,
was sponsored by the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, a DBS-industry
trade group.

Ratings from DBS subscribers far outranked ratings from a
recent Yankee Group study of cable subscribers, Leichtman said, especially in the category
dubbed, "value for the money."

According to the survey, 75 percent of new DBS subscribers
said they would recommend DBS to a friend.

"New subscribers give DBS very high marks,"
Leichtman said. Of those surveyed, 80 percent rated DBS as "excellent" in all
eight categories.

Even after the honeymoon stage would be expected to be
over, 88 percent of subscribers gave DBS an overall rating of "excellent" or
"above average."

The study confirmed that people who subscribe to DBS are
younger and wealthier than the national average.

Just over one-half of DBS customers have access to cable
and, of those, 16 percent have never subscribed to cable. And 66 percent of DBS owners who
had cable dropped it, either before or once they signed up for DBS. Of DBS subscribers who
kept some form of cable, 53 percent downgraded their service.

In two-thirds of DBS purchases, the study said, the primary
decision-maker is male. Only 7 percent of DBS-dish owners described the purchase as a
joint decision.

"More channels" was far and away the biggest
factor driving initial interest in DBS, Leichtman said. "Movies" was the
second-most-mentioned reason.

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