J.D. Power and Associates: FiOS, DirecTV, WOW and Dish top regional players

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS (East Region), DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) (South Region), WOW! (North Central Region) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) (West Region) ranked highest in customer satisfaction among subscribers surveyed by J.D. Power and Associates for its 2012 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

The study, which measures customer satisfaction with their multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), also found that subscribers who buy premium pages are "more loyal and more likely to purchase additional products from their television provider than are subscribers with basic and expanded basic programming packages," a J.D. Power and Associates news release said.

That tidbit seemingly vindicates MVPDs who have, at times, seemed blasé when confronted with basic subscriber defections.

According to the survey, 31 percent of premium subs said they "definitely will not" switch providers, while only 22 percent of expanded basic and 20 percent of basic offer the same assurance. At the other end of the scale, 26 percent of premium subscribers are willing to recommend their provider compared to only 16 percent of expanded basic and 14 percent of basic customers.

The results also appear to show that MVPDs are winning the cord-cutting war with OTT, at least in the eyes of Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.

"After several years of declining subscription to premium programming packages associated with the economic downturn and the introduction of attractive over-the-top alternatives, it appears premium programming is making a comeback," Perazzini said in the news release. "Premium package subscribers have proven to be better brand advocates. Television providers catering to these high-value subscribers with video-on-demand and mobile applications will be well positioned to keep these customers and grow their relationship, moving forward."

Regionally, it seems non-traditional cable MVPDs are also getting the most loyalty from their subscribers. In the East Region, FiOS, with a score of 7285, really outdistanced the second and third place providers, Dish Network (7195) and DirecTV (7114). Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), which ironically has been offering packages aimed at premium subscribers, came in last in the region at 6222 and well below the regional average of 6653.

In the South, results were pretty much the same, although the order was slightly reversed. DirecTV (7295) edged out AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse (7285), and FiOS came in third (7144). Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) brought up the end of the pile at 6352, well below the regional average of 6863.

In the North Central Region it was Wide Open West (WOW!) on top with 7115 followed by U-verse (7105) and DirecTV (7055). Charter, again, was on the bottom at 5942, and again well below the regional average of 6563.

And finally in the West it was Dish (7135) topping U-verse (7085) and DirecTV (7085) with Mediacom (5662) bringing up the rear. The West Region average was 6693.

For more:
- J.D. Power and Associates issued this news release

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