Is Cord Cutting The Future?

If you follow the broadcasting space at all, then you know about the ongoing battle between traditional pay-TV services, like satellite and cable, and the cord-cutting movement. While it is true that streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are certainly power players in the content department, pay-TV services are doing better than many people expected. Need proof? Take a look at the latest J.D.Power ratings. DISH Network and DirecTV, two of the major traditional pay-TV companies, recently received higher scores in J.D. Power’s TV Service Provider Satisfaction Study. The consumer data and analytics firm, J.D. Power releases this study every year, and it’s generally considered to be accurate and indicative of the current market. DISH Network actually won the overall customer satisfaction award this year for the first time since 2005—a major achievement for the satellite-broadcasting company. Not only did DISH win the overall customer satisfaction, but they also increased their score across the board in different regions across the United States. In total, DISH Network was awarded a score of 753 on a scale of 1000. That’s higher than the score their competitor, DirecTV scored last year. DirecTV was given a score of 731. However, it is worth noting that DirecTV does outscore DISH Network in certain geographic regions. According to USA Today, “The AT&T-owned DirecTV did land the highest scores for the South region (765) and the East (767), where it supplanted Verizon, which had the highest score for the region last year (755) and increased it (to 763) this time. Dish ranked highest in the North Central (754) and West (749) regions. Overall, pay-TV providers increased their national average rating to 731, up from 710 last year.”. Now, while this is good news DISH Network, pay-TV providers are still losing subscribers, at a fairly rapid rate. During the first half of 2018, satellite TV services like DISH Network and DirecTV lost a combined 855,000 subscribers. That number is up from the 810,000 subscribers that were lost over the same period last year. All told, the major pay-TV companies lost about 1.5 million subscribers during the first half of 2018. It is worth pointing out that even though DISH Network is a traditional pay-TV provider, they also are gaining market share in the cord-cutting space through their OTT service, Sling TV. Sling TV has already gained 131,000 subscribers in 2018. DISH Network released a blog about the study stating that “[Their] decision to focus on taking care of our customers is reaffirmed,”. Ian Greenblatt, the technology, media & telecom practice lead at J.D. Power included comments in the study saying that “It is clear wireline companies are putting the customer experience first, and it is paying off,”. So is cord cutting the future? In short, maybe. But for the near future, traditional pay-TV broadcasters like DISH Network are here to stay. While their content offerings may not set them apart, their customer service certainly does. Sources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/09/27/dish-network-directv-cord-cutting-better-service/1441036002/

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