Helping MSOs Retain Subs

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As competition continues to heat up in the multichannel arena, cable operators find themselves parrying heightened attempts from both direct-broadcast satellite providers and overbuilders to lure subscribers away.

Bearing that competitive landscape in mind, cable operators have been placing a renewed emphasis on programs and initiatives aimed at retaining basic-and-advanced cable-TV customers — and thus the Customer Retention Case Study Competition was born in 2002.

This year, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, along with Fox Cable Networks and Multichannel News, will present the awards.

"In leadership panels, it was decided that we needed to do more to help MSOs with their retention-marketing efforts," said CTAM senior vice president of marketing Seth Morrison. "We find the best way to do that is sharing best practices."

Open to industry operators, programmers and suppliers, the Customer Retention Case Study Competition, now in its second year, seeks successful customer-retention concepts that have achieved significant, documented results. The submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges — programmers/industry suppliers assessed the operators, while the programmer/vendor entries were gauged by MSO executives — on the merits of their strategy development, implementation and analysis of results.

In this year's competition Time Warner Cable Los Angeles and Comcast Cable were knotted in the top spot on the operator/distributor side of the competition for their respective "Because We Care" and "Early Life Contact Stream" programs. Cox Communications Inc. ranked second here with its "Seasonal Saver Plan."

Among programmer/industry supplier submissions, Game Show Network claimed first place for its Connect & Collect Sweepstakes program. Meanwhile, Hamilton Direct and MyDTV were tied for second with "M.O.S.T. Retention Program" and "TV Agent," respectively.

This year's winning case studies will be shared with CTAM members both at this year's Summit in Seattle from July 20-23, as well as ctam.com, where industry professionals can learn from the leaders in customer retention.

Read more about the 2003 honorees in the pages that follow.

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