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Report: Consumers don't really want a la carte

Thu, 03/16/2006 - 7:30am
Brian Santo, CED

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 40 percent of consumers are very interested in a la carte - at least initially. Their interest significantly diminishes, however, when consumers are informed of the number of channels they would be likely to receive with an a la carte system, and the equipment requirements of the service.

Leichtman Research split a sample of 1,586 adults over age 18 living in households with at least one TV set into two groups. Those in the first group were initially asked about their general interest in a la carte. They were then informed that, by choosing a la carte, an average subscriber would receive less than one-third the number of channels that they get for the same price today, and that they would need to have set-top box receivers on each TV set. This group was again asked their interest in a la carte given these implications. Only 17 percent were still interested in a la carte.

Those in the second group were given the implications of receiving a la carte service first, and then asked their interest in a la carte. The results were startlingly consistent: again, only 17 percent  were interested in a la carte.

These findings were part of an upcoming Leichtman Research study called "Cable and DBS:  Competing for Customers 2006."

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