DALLAS, TX, Mar 19, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --
Parks Associates today reported carriage disputes can have a
substantial impact on pay-TV subscribership, as 7% of pay-TV
subscribers who lose a channel, roughly 2% of all subscribers, will
switch providers when they drop a channel.
The new research Carriage Disputes: The Subscriber Perspective, based
on multiple nationwide surveys of over 2,000 U.S. broadband
households, examines the impact of carriage disputes, which have
prompted pay-TV providers like DirecTV, Dish Network, and Time Warner
to drop channels such as AMC, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.
"Carriage disputes are becoming more common as content costs consume
bigger percentages of APRU," said John Barrett, director, research,
Parks Associates. "While dropped channels do cause churn, 16% of
those affected watched missing programs online, suggesting online
availability of episodes does dampen the severity of channel loss for
In 2012, Dish Network dropped AMC Network channels in a dispute over
licensing fees, blacking out shows including Mad Men and The Walking
Dead. A carriage fee dispute between DirecTV and Viacom prompted the
latter to remove content, including popular shows The Daily Show and
The Colbert Report, from its online portal.
Parks Associates research found at least 34% of pay-TV subscribers
have lost a channel and most of them received no compensation for the
loss. While 7% of them switched as a result of the loss, 36% who have
lost a channel are willing to pay additional costs to regain them.
"Specific segments, notably high-income households with children, are
the most likely to switch when losing a channel," Barrett said.
"Given that many viewers are willing to pay more not to lose the
content, service providers could renegotiate with content owners in
order to reshuffle their offerings, moving high-priced channels to
higher tiers and giving consumers the choice to pay for the content."
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