& cplSiteName &

Many Pay-TV Subs Still Unhappy Campers

Alan Breznick
3/11/2014
50%
50%

Despite recent efforts to boost their video and broadband offerings, North American pay-TV providers are far from out of the woods just yet.

In its latest study of the US-Canadian video market (registration required), Digitalsmiths Corp. found that up to 43% of pay TV subscribers are planning to cut or change their cable or satellite TV service over the next six months or are considering such a move. Further, about 20% of cable and satellite TV subscribers said they are unhappy with their current provider.

Digitalsmiths surveyed 3,140 pay-TV customers in the two countries and found that the biggest source of unhappiness remains high monthly subscription bills for multichannel video service. About two-thirds of unsatisfied customers (67%) cited increasing fees for video service, while 37% named increasing fees for Internet service, 34% cited bad channel selection, and 31% cited poor customer service.

In another notable sign of subscriber discontent, nearly three-quarters of pay-TV subscribers (73%) said they don't order pay-per-view or video-on-demand movies from their current provider. Yet 45% are buying similar fare from such increasingly popular over-the-top services as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu LLC .

In one more disturbing sign for US and Canadian pay-TV providers, 36% of subscribers said they know their operator offers TV Everywhere services. Fifty-two percent said they don't know about such offerings, and 11% said the offerings don't exist, even if they do.

On the positive side for pay TV providers, only 11% of current cable and satellite subscribers said they plan to change or cut their service in the next six months. The bulk of potential ex-customers (32% of those surveyed) said they might consider such a change; this indicates they could still be won over if wooed effectively.

Moreover, the survey indicated that one way pay-TV providers could boost customer satisfaction is by offering recommendations for viewing video content. A good portion of viewers feel overwhelmed by the viewing choices available to them; 53% of the respondents said they would like such program recommendations built into their on-screen programming guides. (Not too coincidentally, Digitalsmiths specializes in building such video recommendation engines for service providers.)

Digitsalsmiths conducts these extensive subscriber surveys every quarter. TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) recently acquired the company for $135 million. (See TiVo to Acquire Digitalsmiths and TiVo Racks Up More Big Gains.)

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/12/2014 | 7:15:28 PM
Ironic
Isn't it Ironic that the internet bandwidth these cable TV giants are providing is helping kill thier TV product.
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/12/2014 | 7:12:41 PM
sign of the times
This is a direct result of the evolving of the internet as it pertains to streaming media. With Netflix and hulu and all the other similar services you dont need to pay $80 a month for TV anymore.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/11/2014 | 8:50:56 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
If Aero survives its Supreme Court challenge, that will be severely disruptive or the cable industry. Assuming Congress doesn't just pass a law banning Aero.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/11/2014 | 7:01:00 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
A big part of the issue is the cost of content - granted, cable giants such as Comcast own content  -- as every content owner looks at the payTV providers like cash cows. 

So I think the coming plague on the video services industry is going to impact a broader swath of the ecosystem.  

Smaller telcos are viewing video as a necessary evil and see broadband as their real service. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 6:39:13 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
I have the nagging sense that the sniffles will turn somewhat bubonic if we can't do something about these bi-annual rate hikes and inflexible channel bundles within the next three to five years.

There is (there has to be) a breaking point in terms of cable TV pricing. I'm very curious about precisely where it as, as clearly is the cable industry, based on their endless refusal to compete on price in order to test consumer apathy.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 6:30:51 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
@Carol excellent analogy. I don't have cable but am familiar with people's complaints about their service providers. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/11/2014 | 3:27:58 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
Disliking your cable company is like having the sniffles. They are annoying but you often go long periods of time without doing anything to find a remedy. 

I find I dislike my pay TV provider more in the five days after I've paid my bill. But thus far, despite experimenting with a variety of alternatives, I haven't found any other service that meets my specific viewing needs (middle-of-the-road episodic TV, major DVR dependence, general sports stuff and tons of hockey) like a traditional pay TV package. 

Just speaking anecdotally, however (always dangerous), there are more and more folks that I know who are gleefully cutting the cord and skipping away. And that's the residual effect of having had the cable sniffles for too long. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 3:20:50 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
I think a lot of people see cancelling multiple services as a significant hassle, and after a while don't think that most companies are all that different. Still, you'd kind of wish that these people that are historically upset with their cable providers would actively do something about it and cancel, switch, or examine cutting the cord. The cable industry doesn't appear to learn as long as all of the people contributing to their historically-dismal customer satisfaction rankings don't back up that discontent with action.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/11/2014 | 2:58:24 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
AT&T occassionally sends me Visa gift cards as rewards that are for $10, but really $5 when I go to spend it. Even got a $20 one, but really $15 when I tried to spend it, once. It's a nice gesture, but I'd rather have significant discounts on my bill, something I don't see happening anytime soon.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/11/2014 | 2:56:22 PM
Re: Discontent May Not Mean Leaving Ship
Agreed. I am amongst those who would've said, yes, I am planning to leave in 6 months, and I still haven't gone anywhere. I do watch Netflix more than anything now though.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Nokia's Advancement Plan: Bring Old Skills to New Roles

6|29|16   |   7:57   |   (1) comment


Nokia's Sandy Motley advises women to change their mindsets; get aggressive about advancing their careers; develop strong, diverse support networks; and always bring forth learned skills to take on new challenges and different roles.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff

6|28|16   |     |   (1) comment


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast: Prepping Next-Gen Video Services

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Comcast's Elad Nafshi outlines where MSO stands with cloud DVR, OTT video, college and gigabit services.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy: 'Now Is the Time for NFV'

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Ray Watson, VP of Global Technology at Masergy, talk about the advantages that enterprises can leverage using Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and how Masergy takes a unique approach to solving customers' problems. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy Leads the Charge With NFV Capabilities

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Tim Naramore, CTO at Masergy, talk about how focusing on solving specific customer challenges, providing self-service automation tools and being laser focused on the customer experience has enabled Masergy to be a leader in the NFV space. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Brexit: It's Hard to See an Upside
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 6/29/2016
Qualcomm Readies Lower-Band 5G Testbed
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/27/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/27/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.