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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: As Satellite TV Penetration Grows, Overall Customer Satisfaction among Satellite Subscribers Continues to Top Cable.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. -- DISH Network Regains Top Spot in Customer Satisfaction Rankings

Overall customer satisfaction among satellite TV service subscribers outpaces that of cable customers, as satellite penetration continues to grow, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

Although cable subscriptions still dominate the industry, satellite market penetration continues a steady eight-year climb, with nearly one in four households now subscribing to satellite pay TV. Satellite receives an overall customer satisfaction index score of 723 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared to 659 for digital cable and 621 for analog cable, with strong performance across all measures of customer satisfaction. Despite this outcome, cable narrows the gap in overall satisfaction versus satellite, improving at nearly twice the rate of satellite (3.1% vs. 1.6%).

Both satellite providers included in the study receive the two highest customer satisfaction rankings among the 13 largest providers of cable/satellite TV service. DISH Network regains its highest ranking from 2000, receiving top ratings from customers in three of the six factors that drive overall satisfaction: billing, cost of service, and offerings and promotions. It also performs near the top in the remaining three factors: customer service, image, and performance and reliability. DISH is followed in the rankings by DIRECTV, and cable companies WOW! (WideOpenWest), Cox Communications, RCN and Bright House Networks, respectively.

Customer service has once again re-established itself as the top driver of consumer satisfaction, contributing to 26 percent of the overall customer satisfaction index score. This factor weighting is the highest seen for any factor in the cable/satellite TV study, representing a stark contrast to the 10 percent weighting the customer service factor averaged over the previous three years.

"The opportunity to purchase voice products from pay TV providers and vice versa from historical voice providers has no doubt contributed to this dramatic increase in the importance of customer service," said Steve Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunications for J.D. Power and Associates. "Similar to the voice market counter-parts, dissatisfaction with levels of customer service will make consumers less satisfied overall, making them more susceptible to bundling and price promotions from competitors."

Product bundling continues to be the key area where cable providers can stem migration to satellite and increase cable's share of the consumer wallet. With a continuing strong consumer desire to combine multiple services in a single bill for convenience and simplicity, the study finds that 44 percent of cable subscribers want to combine their cable service with some other telecommunications product or service.

The study finds the current average monthly expenditure for pay TV service is $49.08 among satellite subscribers and $50.98 among cable subscribers.

The 2004 Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 8,668 U.S. households who evaluated their satellite or cable TV providers.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, J.D. Power and Associates (www.jdpower.com) is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors, including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. Media e-mail contact: michael.greywitt@jdpa.com or john.tews@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 18, 2004
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