New-Home Buyers a Challenge

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New-home buyers represent both alluring targets and potential problems for cable operators as they face increasing competition from telcos and direct-broadcast satellite providers, according to research conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for home-builder Lennar Corp.

Hart surveyed 1,004 Americans in June, plus another 601 new Lennar home buyers over the past two years, and found that 18% of the new Lennar home owners switched from cable to satellite after they moved.

But there were also plenty of new home owners who kept cable and upgraded their service. Some 32% said they moved to a higher level of Internet service at a higher cost, while 30% said they upgraded their cable or satellite service when moving into a new home.

Hart also found that 38% of new home buyers had HDTV sets, versus the national average of 13%, presenting cable with an HD sales opportunity, Kaiserman said.

Among Lennar home buyers, 53% changed their cable or satellite service when they moved, compared with 31% of other home movers nationwide and 16% for all households.

Some 47% changed their Internet service, versus 31% for other home movers and 21% for the national population.

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