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TelcoTV: Bundle Up – It's Competitive Out There

ORLANDO, Fla. -- TelcoTV 2009 -- Is loyalty the new trend in consumer entertainment?

Nearly half of the consumers recently surveyed by Heavy Reading say they have kept the same pay TV provider for more than five years. One reason: Telcos and cable companies are having success with bundling services, making it harder for customers to leave when one thing about a single service annoys them.

Heavy Reading's new pay TV survey provides the responses of 410 consumers who were queried about their pay TV services, their attitudes towards these services, and the types of companies that provide them. Consumers also shared their impressions of online video, and whether it might make them likely to pull the plug on pay TV. (See What Fights Cord-Cutting?)

This news should be reassuring for telcos for two reasons. First, it shows they're generally taking the right approach in offering discounts on broadband access and other services to pay TV customers.

Second, given how fiercely competitive the market is -- and how price-sensitive consumers are -- this suggests that consumers aren't as fickle about pay TV as they were previously: In Heavy Reading's same survey a year ago, only about 40 percent of the respondents had been with their pay TV operator for five or more years. (See HR Bows Survey Results.)

But the pay TV business is only getting tougher. "The challenge is keeping the mometum going," says Heavy Reading senior analyst Adi Kishore, who notes that many telcos are offering pay TV in relatively mature markets. "You've got a situation where every single subscriber you get is going to have to be ripped away from a pay TV [provider]."

The Heavy Reading survey, "Making TV Pay: The Telco Challenge," will be discussed by Kishore today, at noon, in Room N220G at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

To get ready for the kind of data Kishore will be digging into, please take a look at this video interview:

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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