Telcos Could Lure Digital Subs

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More than one-third of multichannel-video customers would consider switching to service from a phone company if it would cost less than what they pay now, a market-research firm said Monday, citing a survey.

Horowitz Associates put the overall percentage who would consider switching at 37% -- but 42% of digital-cable customers, who currently pay the most for their TV service, would consider making the jump. The figures are 35% and 34%, respectively, for analog-cable and satellite-TV subscribers.

Other findings from a survey of 800 cable and satellite users in areas where digital cable is available:

• More than half of multichannel consumers with a retail TiVo or other digital video recorder in the home (56% and 53%, respectively) say they use it on a weekly basis, and about 40% use a DVR daily.

• Half of those who say they have HD service report they use it weekly.

• About half of digital-cable subscribers with free on-demand service use it on a weekly basis, 27% of digital cable subscribers with on-demand movies buy one on a weekly basis and 14% of digital cable subscribers with subscription on-demand programming use it on a weekly basis.

• Less than one-third of digital-cable or satellite customers saw value in getting services like caller ID and voicemail available on the PC and TV as well as the phone.

The broader Horowitz study is called “State of Digital and Interactive Television 2005.”