Survey: Digital Helps With Satisfaction

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Digital-cable subscribers give their operators a more favorable perception rating than do analog-cable customers, according to an independent survey of 1,200 U.S. households by the Leichtman Research Group.

While digital-cable customers pay an average of $16 more per month than analog subscribers, LRG president Bruce Leichtman said, they're more likely to see their cable companies as innovators and more likely to be satisfied with the choice of channels available to them.

Advances made in digital cable over the past several years helped boost satisfaction levels, Leichtman said.

"The digital cable of three years ago is not the digital cable of today," he added, noting that some initial digital offers began as stop-gap measures designed to bring a 40-channel package to 80 channels.

"Not everybody is going to be a digital subscriber," Leichtman warned, noting that about half of current cable customers don't have a set-top box, either analog or digital.

And digital cable still trails direct-broadcast satellite in terms of subscriber satisfaction, Leichtman added.

DBS customers were more likely to respond positively to a statement that said their provider charges reasonable rates. Satellite far outscored both digital and analog cable customers with regards to perceptions of price.

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