Pick and Pay “Skinny” TV Program Packages Provide Cost and Channel Choices, Driving Higher Customer Satisfaction, Says J.D. Power Canadian Study

TORONTO–([1])–As cable and satellite television providers in Canada continue to face
competition from video streaming services, the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission’s1 mandate for providers to
offer a “skinny” TV channel package with a $25 cap by December 2016 may
help them stay relevant in the market and coexist with these alternative
services.

According to the J.D. Power 2016 Canadian Television Provider Customer
Satisfaction StudySM and J.D. Power 2016 Canadian Internet
Service Provider Customer Satisfaction StudySM released
today, customer satisfaction is highest when there is flexibility to
“pick and pay” for television channels to add to their skinny program
bundle at an affordable price.

The adoption of alternative video services (e.g., streaming services) is
on the rise, as 49% of television customers indicate they have used one
in the previous 12 months, compared with 42% in 2015. Facing a
competitive risk as well as a regulatory deadline, television providers
have offered price-conscious customers who wish to only pay for what
they watch the option of basic or skinny program packages with the
flexibility to add preferred channels.

Satisfaction is highest among customers with a skinny service that
allows them to expand and choose additional channels individually (761
on a 1,000-point scale), surpassing satisfaction among those with
premium service (738), as well as those with a preset expanded basic
package (708) or basic cable (700). More than one-fourth (28%) of
customers have a skinny package that costs $25 or less, and 13% of
customers pick and pay for additional channels above their skinny
package. Satisfaction with cost is also high among customers in this
group, which is encouraging for television providers as they generally
receive much lower ratings than alternative video services on cost of
service (6.0 on a 10-point scale vs. 7.8, respectively).

“Customers have long desired flexibility to pick and choose their own TV
packages and not be forced to subscribe to channels they have no
interest in watching,” said Adrian Chung, director in the telecom,
media and technology practice at J.D. Power
. “Having the option to
choose a skinny TV package with channel upgrade options helps to meet
that demand and for some, creating more room in their budget for
streaming video content. Instead of a growing number of so-called cord
cutters, there is high perceived value in paying for access to content
that isn’t available through standard programming, leading more
customers to use a combination of services to meet their viewing needs.”

Following are some key findings of the 2016 TV and ISP studies:

  • Satisfaction among television customers in Canada improves to 715 in
    2016 from 692 in 2015, while satisfaction among internet customers is
    699, up from 679 in 2015.
  • On average, the cost of television service is $70 per month, down from
    $73 in 2015, and the cost of internet service is $58 per month.
  • Among customers who used an alternative video service in the previous
    12 months, 67% used Netflix instant streaming, which vastly exceeds
    the rates for other alternative video services, such as Shomi (16%)
    and CraveTV (9%).
  • The percentage of customers who say internet connection speed is
    “better than expected” has increased to 12% from 10% in 2015.
  • Customers in rural areas are more likely to say their internet
    connection speed is “worse than expected,” compared with those in
    urban areas (18% vs. 14%, respectively). Rural customers experience a
    relatively high incidence of network problems.
  • The number of connected devices per household has risen to 9.9 from
    4.5 in 2015.

Study Rankings

East Region
Videotron ranks highest in both
television and Internet customer satisfaction in the East region for a
fourth consecutive year. Videotron’s overall score for television
service customer satisfaction is 782, followed by Shaw with a
score of 754 and Cogeco with 733. Regarding Internet
service customer satisfaction, Videotron ranks highest with a
score of 777, followed by Cogeco with 732.

West Region
SaskTel ranks highest in both television
and Internet service customer satisfaction in the West region for a
fourth consecutive year. SaskTel’s overall score for television
service customer satisfaction is 730, followed by TELUS with 715
and MTS with 704. In Internet service satisfaction, SaskTel ranks
highest with a score of 709, followed by TELUS with 692.

The Canadian Television Provider Customer Satisfaction Study measures
overall satisfaction with television service providers based on six
factors (in order of importance): performance and reliability; cost of
service; programming; communication; billing; and customer service. The
Canadian Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study is based
on five factors (in order of importance): performance and reliability;
cost of service; communication; billing; and customer service.

The 2016 Canadian Television Provider Customer Satisfaction Study and
the 2016 Canadian Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study
are based on responses from more than 3,300 TV customers in the West
region and more than 5,700 TV customers in the East region; and more
than 3,600 Internet customers in the West region and more than 5,400 in
the East region. Both studies were fielded in September 2015 and April
2016.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores
(Based
on a 1,000-point scale)

 

J.D. Power.com Power Circle RatingsTM
For
Consumers

 

Television Service Providers

 

 

East Region

 

Videotron

782

5

Shaw

754

4

Cogeco

733

4

East Region Average

720

4

Bell Aliant

714

3

Eastlink

712

3

Bell

706

3

Rogers

682

2

 

West Region

 

SaskTel

730

5

TELUS

715

4

MTS

704

3

West Region Average

704

3

Shaw

701

3

Bell

676

2

 

Internet Service Providers

 

 

East Region

 

Videotron

777

5

Cogeco

732

4

East Region Average

705

3

Eastlink

701

3

Bell Aliant

691

3

Bell

685

3

Rogers

673

2

 

West Region

 

SaskTel

709

5

TELUS

692

4

West Region Average

686

3

Shaw

684

3

MTS

661

2

Power Circle Ratings Legend
5 – Among the best
4
– Better than most

3 – About average
2 – The rest

Award-Eligible Canadian Television and Internet Service Providers
Included in the Studies

Company   Executive   Company Address
Bell George Cope Montreal QC
Bell Aliant George Cope Halifax NS
Cogeco Louis Audet Montreal QC
Eastlink Lee Bragg Halifax NS
MTS Jay Forbes Winnipeg MB
Rogers Guy Laurence Toronto ON
SaskTel Ron Styles Regina SK
Shaw Bradley S. Shaw Calgary AB
TELUS Darren Entwistle Vancouver BC
Videotron Manon Brouilette Montreal QC

Note: Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) owns Bell and Bell Aliant

For information about the 2016 Canadian Television Provider Customer
Satisfaction Study and the 2016 Canadian Internet Service Provider
Customer Satisfaction Study, visit http://canada.jdpower.com/industry/telecom-ca[2]

See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2016-canadian-television-and-internet-service-provider-customer-satisfaction-studies[3]

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules http://www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info[4]

1 Source: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/television/program/alacarte.htm[5]

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