Most Viewers Want To Limit The Pay TV Channels They Buy: Study

This may come as a surprise to the many programming executives who insist that cable and satellite customers like pay TV’s pricing bundles that require them to pay for channels that they don’t watch. Research and consulting firm PwC heard a different message in June when it surveyed 1,008 people about their video consumption preferences. About 44% favor a la carte pricing, the company says in its new U.S. Video Content Consumption report, while 29% want a package that’s “more customized to my individual interest.” Another 8% said that they’d just like small collection of essential services, with 6% saying that they want to access individual shows instead of full channels. Just 14% said they’d prefer the “full package” that gives them the most options. Those who want something different say that it would provide “more control over the content that appears on their screens and allows their viewing time to be more enjoyable and well-spent,” according to PwC which followed its surveys by conducting focus groups. Some 65% of the people who want a change say that they’d be willing to access 10 or more channels, while 26% put the number between six and nine, with 9% between two and five. How much would they pay? About 16% would go to 99 cents a channel, 24% would go to $1.99, 22% would go to $2.99, and the remaining 37% would go higher.  In other findings: Some 35% said that the growing availability of Internet services such as Netflix has had little or no impact on the value they put on pay TV while another 13% still prefer traditional cable and satellite. But 31% said the new services reduce the perceived value of pay TV, while 14% said they prefer the Internet. In the latter group, 5% said they’re considering cutting the cord for pay TV. Traditional services that want to maintain their value “must continue to offer exclusive programming that is either not available online or is only available in a less timely fashion,” PwC says.

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