AT&T U-verse and DirecTV nab top marks for TV customer satisfaction

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 14-10-2011

Growth in US residential television service revenue is being fueled by increased penetration of DVR hardware and additional viewing services, while video on demand (VOD) remains a bright spot.
And when it comes to which operator consumers would rather take their service from, AT&T and DirecTV have won top marks.
According to J.D. Power and Associates, AT&T U-verse ranks highest for customer service in the West and South for a fourth consecutive year, and highest in the North Central region for the second year in a row. In the East, DirecTV ranks highest.
HDTV, DVR and VOD all remain positive areas of the business for operators. "As prices continue to fall, penetration of HDTVs in homes has increased by 8 percentage points during the past year," said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.
"Increased integration of HDTVs with multi-room DVR setups has been key to driving additional revenue for service providers. In fact, average monthly billing for triple-play customers, those subscribing to telephone, television and Internet service, climbed to $149.52 in 2011 from $140.90 in 2010."
Meanwhile, DVR subscriptions among residential TV customers with cable service have grown to 45% in 2011 from 38 percent in 2010. Among households with satellite TV service, 64% in 2011 have DVR boxes, compared with 59% in 2010. In addition, the proportion of households with more than one DVR box has notably increased. Among households with cable service, 35% have multiple DVR boxes in 2011, compared with 28% in 2010. Among households with satellite service, this figure has increased to 45% in 2011 from 40% in 2010.
The study finds that VOD is a positive for service providers in 2011. VOD viewership rose to 39% from 35% in 2010 among cable subscribers and to 18% from 16% among satellite subscribers. All of that has positive implications for subscriber retention.
"Regular VOD viewing improves loyalty," said Perazzini. "39% of viewers who watch 10 or more hours of VOD per month consider themselves loyal to their provider, while the average among non-VOD users is 39%."
The study also found that speculation regarding the impending demise of premium channels such as HBO and Showtime may be premature. While penetration of premium channels in households with satellite service has declined to 29% in 2011 from 34%in 2010, penetration in households with cable service is up slightly to 30% from 29% during the same period.