Cable Subscribers Prefer ‘a la Carte’ Channels

October 30, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Personalization | Television

Cable subscribers don’t want to pay for channels they don’t watch and say their current cable costs are too high – and more than half prefer to purchase channels individually instead of in bulk packages, according to a new Zogby Interactive poll.

Some 52% of cable subscribers said they would prefer to buy individual channels, while 35% favor the current bulk package system. Another 12% were undecided about which approach they prefer.

The survey also shows a high level of dissatisfaction with the idea of paying for channels they don’t watch:

  • 71% say they disagree with having to pay for cable channels they don’t watch; nearly half (46%) “strongly disagree.”
  • Moreover, most subscribers (82%) agree that the cost of cable television service is too high; 46% say current costs are “much too high.”

There is, however, uncertainty about whether changing to an a la carte cable subscription service would help defray costs:

  • 37% believe the costs would be greater.
  • 39% believe the average cost would be less.
  • 10% said they believe the costs would remain about the same, while 13% said they weren’t sure.

Though some programmers have raised concerns that smaller or not-well-known channels would not be able to survive if not included in a channel package, half (52%) of cable subscribers said they were not concerned about this possibility.

Still, a significant 42% expressed concern about the possibility of such channels being lost if cable providers were to switch to an a la carte system.

(Via MediaPost)

About the poll: Zogby International conducted an online survey of 3,254 adult cable subscribers nationswide Sept. 25-27, 2007. A sampling of Zogby International’s online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the US, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the population.


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