More bad trend news from the researchers at The Yankee Group: While cable is
still the prime source for multichannel video, its share of subscribers has
dropped to 80 percent.
The Boston-based analyst firm's latest report indicated that consumers don't
switch over to satellite-TV service because it costs less. In fact, while the
average monthly cable bill is about $45.50, EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish
Network service averages about $48.85 and Hughes Electronics Corp.'s DirecTV
Inc. comes in at $58.10.
Instead, customers surveyed by Yankee Group indicated that direct-broadcast
satellite represented a better value, rating it higher in picture quality,
choice of programming, customer-service support and trustworthiness, among other
Among other things, Yankee Group's advice to cablers is to shift its consumer
message from technology and price more toward the value of its services.
While cablers need to develop new services such as video-on-demand and cable
telephony, they also need to do more work to strengthen existing offerings,
particularly their basic-cable service.