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HBO/TELECABLE MULTIPLEX TESTS YIELD

       HBO/TELECABLE MULTIPLEX TESTS YIELD  DRAMATIC' RESULTS;
        SATISFACTION, PERCEIVED VALUE SHOW SIGNIFICANT RISE
    NEW YORK, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Noting that nothing the company has tested in its 20-year history has changed subscriber attitudes as much as multiplexing, Home Box Office, Inc. today announced preliminary research results from two TeleCable test markets where HBO services have been multiplexed.
    In research conducted by TeleCable in the MSO's systems in Plano, Texas and Overland Park, Kan., 50 percent of HBO subscribers rated the service as a better buy than video rentals after two months' experience with multiplexing, compared with 30 percent before HBO was increased to a three-channel service.  Complaints that HBO cost too much dropped 27 percent.  Sixty-two percent of subscribers said the service was a better buy than going to the movies compared to 49 percent before multiplex.  The perception that HBO has too many repeats dropped sharply from 52 percent to 35 percent.
    "The positive changes in perceived value and subscriber satisfaction coupled with a decrease in complaints about the premium product have been very encouraging," said Gordon Herring, executive vice president of TeleCable.  "Multiplexing the service has, according to our research, turned subscribers around on virtually every premium television issue, from price to the value of cable as a whole."
    Herring's comments were underscored by research results showing that 84 percent of surveyed subscribers felt that HBO multiplexing made their entire cable package a better value.  Overall satisfaction with cable service improved to 65 percent from 54 percent.
    "These early finds are both encouraging and compelling," said John Billock, HBO executive vice president, marketing.  "I've never seen such significant attitudinal shifts in so short a time.  What we are seeing is that multiplexing causes a dramatic change in the way subscribers perceive and use our products."
    Other results showed that HBO's multiplex scheduling was answering the specific scheduling problems of single-channel HBO subscribers. Problems with inconvenient scheduling fell to 11 percent from 16 percent.  Complaints about HBO's film selection also went down, to 23 percent from 33 percent.
    Billock called the findings "extremely promising," following last month's research showing that HBO subscribers in multiplex test systems were watching their service 11 percent more, with Cinemax experiencing a usage rise of almost 20 percent.
    "This is not some kind of a blip in the research data," said Billock.  "This strongly indicates that multiplexing works; that it strengthens subscribers' relationship with their HBO and cable services."
    Multiplexing provides pay-TV subscribers with additional viewing options by delivering several counter-programmed channels instead of a single channel.  HBO and Cinemax are currently expanding multiplex test markets.  By year's end, HBO expects multiplexing to be available on at least 15 systems, serving almost a half-million HBO and Cinemax subscribers.
    -0-                    11/21/91
    /CONTACT:  LaMott Britto, at the Anaheim Hilton, 714-750-4321, or Jim Noonan, 212-512-1158, both of HBO/ CO:  Home Box Office, Inc. ST:  New York IN:  ENT SU: GK-JT -- NY037 -- 5833 11/21/91 11:16 EST
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 21, 1991
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