Premium pay-TV service subscribers are more loyal and more likely to purchase additional products from their providers than those who subscribe to basic and expanded basic programming packages, according to new research results from J.D. Power and Associates.

In its “2012 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study,” J.D. Power researchers found that 31% of premium pay-TV package subscribers said they “definitely will not” switch providers. That compares to 22% of expanded basic and 20% of basic package subscribers.

Premium package subscribers also act as “brand advocates” more often than their basic and expanded basic package counterparts, according to the report: 26% said they “definitely will” recommend their provider. That compares to 16% of expanded basic and 14% of basic package subscribers.

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Furthermore, J.D. Power found that overall customer satisfaction with their residential TV service correlates with their pay-TV package subscription level. Premium package subscribers were most satisfied with their television service, with a score of 716 on a 1,000-point scale. Expanded basic subscribers’ satisfaction score was 677, while that for basic subscribers was 656.

“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,” commented Frank Perazzini , director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.

“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.”

Unfortunately for pay-TV providers, premium package subscribers make up the smallest percentage of their subscriber bases—13%. Expanded basic subscribers make up 38% while basic subscribers make up 49%.

Though premium packages cost more than expanded basic and basic programming, their satisfaction with cost of service is higher, at 633, than among expanded basic (588) and basic (567) subscribers, J.D. Power notes. Moreover, premium package subscribers are more willing to pay for even more video content: 42% said they’re likely to order video-on-demand (VoD) programs in the next six months, significantly higher than expanded basic and basic cable subscribers at 37% and 27%, respectively.

Customer pay-TV service satisfaction varied across U.S. regions. Verizon FiOS came out on top in the East with a score of 728, followed by DISH Network (719) and DIRECTV (711). DIRECTV ranked highest in the South with a score of 729, followed closely by AT&T U-verse (728), with Verizon ranking third (714).

WOW! (Wide Open West) came out on top in the North Central region with a 711 score, followed closely by AT&T U-verse (710) and DIRECTV (705). DISH Network ranked highest in the West with a 713 score. AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV tied for second with scores of 708 each.

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