Parks Associates: Cable needs to improve subs’ satisfaction

Thu, 10/23/2008 - 8:25am
Traci Patterson

Cable television could see a mass migration away from its services unless providers improve their consistently low satisfaction ratings among subscribers, according to Parks Associates' “TV 2.0: The Consumer Perspective” report.

According to the report, satellite and telco/IPTV subscribers are “significantly more likely to be satisfied with their services than both basic and digital cable subscribers.” These market conditions leave cable operators vulnerable to subscriber churn, and the survey recommends that operators quickly enhance advanced services like video-on-demand (VOD) to reverse this trend.

High and Low Satifaction among Pay TV Subscribers 

“Cable subscribers are generally less satisfied, which creates opportunities for satellite and telco/IPTV providers to grab customers,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. “Although cable operators have improved service efforts, cable operators will still hemorrhage subscribers unless they are perceived as offering leading-edge features at equal or better value. In today’s economic climate, carriers cannot afford to ignore these findings.”

High and Low Satifaction among Digital Cable Subscribers 

Cable operators have struggled in selling the value of their services, according to Scherf, and framing their services as an enhanced and convenient form of entertainment will be critical in reestablishing higher satisfaction. VOD initiatives should be key elements in this effort, Scherf said.

“Subscribers who actively use primetime VOD services show significantly higher satisfaction levels,” Scherf said. “Primetime VOD offerings are potential ARPU generators and trigger churn toward the provider, a reversal of current market trends.”

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