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Survey: Satellite TV, Fiber Optic Tops Among Premium TV Subs

16 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Satellite TV services and fiber optic telecommunication carriers ranked highest among premium television subscribers, according to a new survey released by J.D. Power and Associates.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based research firm found that premium television package subscribers are more loyal and more likely to purchase additional products from their TV provider than are subscribers with basic and expanded basic programming packages.

The study found that 31% of premium package subscribers said they "definitely will not" switch providers, compared with subs of expanded basic (22%) and basic (20%) programming packages. Among premium package subscribers, 26% said they "definitely will" recommend their provider, compared with subs of expanded basic (16%) and basic (14%) packages.

The results were based on responses from 20,687 customers nationwide who evaluated their cable, satellite or telephone company-based provider. The study was fielded in four waves: November 2011, January 2012, April 2012 and July 2012.

Premium package subscribers are most satisfied with their TV service, reflected in an index score of 716 (on a 1,000-point scale). Satisfaction is significantly lower among expanded basic subscribers (677) and basic subscribers (656). Although having the highest satisfaction, premium package subscribers account for the fewest number of subscribers (13%), compared with expanded basic (38%) and basic (49%) subscribers.

Notably, Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS TV ranked ahead of cable providers Comcast and Time Warner Cable among respondents in the East and South. The four carriers led in the West and trailed only WOW! cable in the North Central region of the country.

The findings, which do not reflect Dish's elimination of AMC Networks programming during the summer, underscore ongoing declines in video subscribers at TWC, Comcast and other cable operators compared with reduced churn among satellite TV and telecommunications services.

“After several years of declining subscription to premium programming packages associated with the economic downturn and the introduction of attractive over-the-top alternatives, it appears premium programming is making a comeback,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. “Premium package subscribers have proven to be better brand advocates. Television providers catering to these high-value subscribers with video-on-demand and mobile applications will be well positioned to keep these customers and grow their relationship, moving forward.”

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