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Digital customers happiest

TORONTO - Canadians living in households served by direct-to-home satellite or digital cable are more likely to express high levels of satisfaction with their service provider than those in analog cable households, says a report released today.

These results are among the findings in the "TV & Cable/DTH Monitor," released as part of an independent consumer trend study on technology, media and entertainment conducted by Solutions Research Group.

The study found that over half - 53% - of DTH subscribers were "very" satisfied with their service provider. Digital cable came in second with 46% saying they are "very" satisfied.

Cable subscribers with analog service expressed lower satisfaction levels in comparison as only 37% said they are "very" satisfied.

"There are two key reasons for the difference in satisfaction between the digital and analog options," said Kaan Yigit, a partner with SRG and the study director. "DTH and digital cable customers actually pay more for television than their analog counterparts but feel they are getting very good value for the dollar. A family can double the number of channels they receive without doubling their monthly cost. In addition, digital services offer flexibility and advanced convenience features not found on analog."

Among other findings of the study:
* Bell ExpressVu ranks number one in customer satisfaction ratings among Canada's major television distributors.
* Digital households have tripled in the past three years, now representing 34% of Canadian households in 2003 (20% DTH and 14% digital cable). 50% of Canadian households still have analog cable.
* The typical DTH household spends $55 on television services monthly and receives over 100 channels. A digital cable household spends $60 for just over 90 channels. In comparison, those in analog households report spending $40 per month for less than 50 channels received on average.
* Digital households are wired in other respects as well. They are more likely to have persona computers, DVD players, video game systems and digital cameras.
* The leading digi-nets identified as favourites in digital households on an unaided basis are: MTV Canada, Lonestar, Animal Planet, Court TV, BBC Canada, Showcase Action, Raptors TV, Scream, Deja View and National Geographic.

"The phenomenal growth of digital households promises great opportunity for the entertainment business - digital households are affluent and are more likely to have tech-savvy teens and demonstrate greater willingness to spend additional money on new channels and services," added Yigit.

The "TV & Cable/DTH Monitor" is a part of the 2003 edition of "IN THE NAME OF COOL", an independent consumer trend study on technology, media and entertainment. The study is based on a scientific telephone survey of 1,500 Canadians, aged 12 and older in February 2003. The sample for the study statistically reflects the regional and age/sex composition of the Canadian population. The results of the survey are accurate to plus or minus 2.5 points for the population as a whole, 19 times out of 20.

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