Loving Pay TV

The results are in for the American Customer Satisfaction Index for cable and satellite television providers (link):

Customer satisfaction among subscribers to cable and satellite television improved three percent to a score of 64 in the first quarter of 2008, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

But, at the same time, Comcast, Charter, and Dish Network are losing ground in the satisfaction of their customers. Comcast is down four percent to 54, an all-time low for the largest cable provider in the country.

Rapid growth may have contributed to difficulties in operations as Comcast continues to add cable subscribers, often through acquisitions of companies in smaller markets, says Professor Claes Fornell, director of the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan.

Satellite TV provider Dish Network is down three percent to 65 and Charter is down two percent to 54, sharing the lowest score in the industry with Comcast.

The reason for the industry’s overall uptick is the large improvement among smaller cable TV providers such as Cablevision and RCN, Fornell says.

The category of "all other" cable TV companies is up five percent to lead the industry with an all-time high of 69, well ahead of the large competitors.

DirecTV is, once again, the king:

For the eighth consecutive year, DIRECTV has topped the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in the Pay TV category.

DIRECTV is American satellite television service provider, serving more than 17 million customers. It has played a major role in the industry-wide switch to high definition (HD) programming, and currently offers 95 HD channels nationally.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is an economic indicator that measures the satisfaction of U.S. consumers. It is produced by the National Quality Research Center (NQRC) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The ACSI generally interviews about 80,000 Americans annually and asks about their satisfaction with the goods and services they have consumed.

DIRECTV posted an index score of 68 at the ACSI against the overall cable and satellite industry score of 64. Customers surveyed by the ACSI in the first quarter of 2008 were also asked about such issues such as perceived quality and value, and their expectations prior to making a purchase. The ACSI also measures customer loyalty and retention.

Comcast – not so much, unfortunately:

Customer satisfaction ratings for Comcast Corp. fell this year to an all-time low and rank at the bottom of cable and satellite TV providers, according to a survey released on Tuesday.