J.D. Power: DBS customers happier than cable


DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. subscribers gave the direct-broadcast satellite services much higher scores
than cable operators got from their customers.

That was the conclusion of an annual customer-satisfaction survey by J.D. Power
& Associates. The annual "Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer
Satisfaction Study" ranked DirecTV highest, with an index of 118. EchoStar wasn’t
far behind with a 116.

But cable operators dragged the combined average down to 100.

Cox Communications Inc. was the highest-ranking cable operators, but its score was 110.
Overbuilders WideOpenWest LLC (108) and RCN Corp. (105) scored well in part because all
of their systems have been built relatively recently and in part because they
face heavy competition in 100% of their markets, whereas other cable operators
generally don’t face wired cable competition (although they do fight DBS).

The survey gave low scores to Comcast Corp. (90), Cablevision Systems Corp. (89) and bankrupt
Adelphia Communications Corp. (87, down 11 points from last year’s survey).

J.D. Power based the scores on surveys from 7,340 cable or DBS subscribers.