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Who's Happy With Their TV Service?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2010) -- AT&T and Verizon telco customers are more satisfied with their TV service than their cable or satellite counterparts, according to a new study from J.D. Power and Associates.

The group interviews consumers annually to determine the satisfaction levels in a variety of categories, including TV service.

In 2010, AT&T's U-verse service, which has more than 100 HD channels, ranked first in satisfaction among TV viewers in the West, South and North Central regions of the country. Verizon, which also has more than 100 HD channels, finished first in customer satisfaction in the East.

Satcasters DIRECTV and Dish Network finished second and third respectively in the East. The regional cable service WOW was second in the North Central Region, with Cox third. In the South and West, Verizon was second with DIRECTV third.

But J.D. Power said that residential TV service customers are generally less satisfied with the cost of their service compared to 2009. The customer satisfaction score for all TV providers combined was 541, compared to 555 in 2009.

Additionally, the group said, cable customers are "particularly dissatisfied" with the cost of their service; the cable satisfaction level was 22 percent lower than for telco customers and 18 percent lower than for satellite viewers.

To illustrate, Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, finished next to last in customer satisfaction among Eastern and Southern consumers. In North Central and the West, Comcast was third from last. Midsized cable operator Mediacom finished last in the West, South and North Central regions.

But J.D. Power had some encouraging words for TV providers looking to generate more revenue per subscriber.
"Despite this decline in satisfaction with cost of service, DVR adoption rates and video-on-demand access have experienced healthy gains," said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.

But Perzaaini added that TV operators must do a better job of communicate the value of their services.

"It's apparent, however, that TV providers must better communicate their price-value proposition, as customers are increasingly voicing irritation with the amount of their monthly bill. Seventy-four percent of customers who say they definitely or probably will change TV providers in the next year cite price as a major reason to switch," he said.

In other rankings, Time Warner Cable was sixth in the East; 10th in the South; 9th in the North Central region; and seventh in the West. Cablevision was fifth in the East, the only place it provides service.

Cox was fourth in the East; ninth in the South; third in the North Central; and sixth in the West.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

Click TVPredictions.com to read more news and features on TV technology. 

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