Telco, Satellite-TV Subs Still Happier Than Cable’s


Television subscribers
largely continue to rank telco and
satellite services higher than cable
TV, even as the use of advanced
services (and monthly fees) for
multichannel-TV viewers continues
to rise.

The J.D. Power & Associates 2011
customer-satisfaction survey for
residential TV services found that
increased penetration of DVRs
and video-on-demand usage is
boosting monthly revenue for pay
TV providers. The average monthly
bill for triple-play customers —
those who subscribe to voice, video
and Internet service — climbed to
$149.52 in 2011, up 6% from $140.90
last year.

AT&T U-verse TV garnered the
top score in the North Central,
South and West regions — marking
the fourth consecutive year it
ranked highest in the West — while
DirecTV took the trophy in the East,
according to J.D. Power.


Overall , DirecTV, Dish Network,
U-verse and Verizon Communications’
FiOS TV received
higher rat ings than cable operators across all regions,
with only two exceptions: Bright House Networks
placed second in the South, just slightly behind
AT&T; and WideOpenWest was within two points of
U-verse in the North Central

As in years past, Comcast,
Time Warner Cable and Charter
Communications ranked
below average in each of their
regions, while Cox Communications
beat out the average in
the South, East and West. Cablevision
Systems placed just
below the East average.

DVR subscriptions among
residential-TV customers with
cable service have risen to 45%
from 38% in 2010, according to
J.D. Power (that result mirroring
a new Leichtman Research
Group survey).

Among households with
satellite-TV service, 64% have
DVRs, versus 59% in 2010.
Households with more than
one DVR box notably increased,
with 35% of cable customers reporting
multiple DVR boxes in
2011 (compared with 28% last
year) and 45% of satellite customers
with multiple DVRs
(versus 40% in 2010).

Among cable subscribers,
VOD viewership rose to 39%
(up from 35% in 2010). Just 18%
of satellite customers use on-demand services, up from
16% in 2010.

“Regular VOD viewing improves loyalty,” J.D. Power
director of telecommunications Frank Perazzini said in
a statement. “Th irty-nine percent of viewers who watch
10 or more hours of VOD per month consider themselves
loyal to their provider, while the average among non-VOD
users is 31%.”


The study also found that speculation regarding the
impending demise of premium channels such as HBO
and Showtime may be premature.

While penetration of premium channels in households
with satellite service has declined to 29% in
2011 from 34% in 2010, penetration in households
with cable service is up slightly to 30% from 29% during
the same period.

J.D. Power’s 2011 U.S. Residential Television Service
Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 23,880
consumers. The study was fielded in four waves: November
2010, January 2011, April 2011 and July 2011.