Telco TV providers AT&T, Verizon top charts in most recent J.D. Power Survey

The nation's top two telco TV providers are more than competitive with incumbent cable and satellite players when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to results from the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

Moving east to west, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS topped the list with 735 points (out of a possible 1,000) in the East Region, followed closely by Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) (734) and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) (733) and ahead of the regional average of 696. Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) bottomed out at 649 points, but no cable operator managed to top the regional average.

AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse was the big winner with 730 points in the North Central Region, topping Dish (725) and DirecTV (720) and beating the average of 691. Again, cable operators were at the bottom with Time Warner Cable in last place with 658 points while Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) (659) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) Xfinity (680) still dipped below the average.

In the South Region, DirecTV took top honors with 744 points, ahead of U-verse at 742, Dish (734) and FiOS (732). Cable operators Cox Communications, Suddenlink, Comcast, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable all fell below the regional average of 708 points. Finally, in the West Region it was Dish with 737 points leading the way followed by FiOS (732), DirecTV (726) and U-verse (718), all above the regional average of 694. No cable operator topped the average and Mediacom came in last at 610 points.

Nationwide, the overall customer satisfaction average was nothing to write home about no matter who was providing the service, coming in at 699 on a scale of 1,000. The average was dragged down by customers who were upset over signal loss (averaging 659 points) and buoyed by those who were not (741). The survey, however, indicated that 67 percent of customers had some service outage in the last year with 51 percent experiencing signal loss, while 38 percent had picture freezing, 26 percent had post channel picture delay, and 19 percent had picture tiling.

"Performance and reliability is the most critical factor driving overall satisfaction and meeting customer expectations," a J.D. Power press release said.

Quality-related issues are becoming more of an impact point as over-the-top providers start to move into established pay TV markets, the researchers said.

"It's important for cable and satellite TV providers to minimize quality issues to reduce the likelihood of future customer defection," Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power said in the release.

For more:
- see this press release

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