Pay TV Customers Say They're Less Satisfied

More pay TV consumers are unhappy with their service than they were a few years ago. Also, many broadband consumers don’t even use traditional TV service.

These are among the top-level findings from a pair of new studies that shed light on consumer behavior and attitudes to both traditional TV and to over-the-top service.

For starters, Parks Associates found that 20% of U.S. pay-TV customers aren’t happy with their service, double the number who said they were dissatisfied in early 2013, the researcher said. On the flip side, only one-third of pay-TV subscribers are happy with their service, a 57% dip since 2013. Parks notes that telcos saw the biggest decline in satisfaction figures over that time period.

Keep an eye on these figures because they often portend increases in cord-cutting, as well as package upgrades or downgrades, Parks said.

Many broadband customers see no need for traditional pay TV. The number of broadband homes that don’t subscribe to legacy pay TV has more than doubled in the last five years, according to a just-released report from The Diffusion Group.



The researcher reported that at the end of last year, the number of U.S. broadband homes had surpassed 100 million — and 22% of those didn’t have pay TV service from cable, satellite or a telco. That’s more than double the figure from 2011, when 9% of the 85 million U.S. broadband homes abstained from pay-TV service.
TDG said this is a more concerning trend than any quarterly declines in pay-TV numbers. The fact that some broadband customers don’t need pay TV at all is perhaps more telling about the direction of consumer habits.

About 83% of broadband users who don’t have pay TV do subscribe to an OTT service, compared to 73% of pay-TV users, TDG said.

Speaking of consumer habits, Pivotal Research Group reported that TV consumption on Internet-connected devices rose 56% in February on a year-over-year basis, accounting for nearly 10% of total TV use that month for adults 18 to 49.

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