Despite being marginalized by their respective operators, AT&T U-verse and Verizon Fios continue to lead the U.S. pay TV sector in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) telecommunications service rankings.
AT&T is no longer marketing U-verse to new customers. And it reported 897,000 lost pay TV subscribers between DirecTV and U-verse in the first quarter (it didn’t break out customer metrics between the two fast deteriorating platforms). AT&T is now throwing its marketing muscle behind its new IP-based linear pay TV platform, AT&T TV, as well as new kitchen-sink SVOD service HBO Max.
Still, on the ASCI’s 0-100 point scale, U-verse actually led major U.S. pay TV providers for a second straight year, ticking up one point to a 70 score. That tied perennial rankings leader Verizon’s Fios, which shed another 84,000 customers in Q1, but saw its ASCI score tick up two points.
Verizon is now marketing third-party OTT video services, including YouTube TV and Disney Plus, to push its Fios wireline internet product.
Fios (up three points to a 73 score) and U-verse (68) were also the highest scoring wireline broadband services in the latest ASCI telecom report. And they also led in more drilled down rankings including in-home Wi-Fi and VOD services.
Notably, in the pay TV rankings, it’s was the fastest declining services that scored best in customer satisfaction, according to ASCI. Dish Network, which lost another 132,000 customers in the first quarter, ranked third with a 65 score (down two points), followed by the fast falling DirecTV (down two points to 64).
Also notable: The two satellite TV services were the only pay TV platforms to see their scores decline. Comcast’s Xfinity service saw a six-point, 11% jump to a 63 score, showing the biggest improvement.
Evaluating specific pay TV metrics, such as picture quality, customer service and mobile app performance, ASCI scores were roughly flat with last year for U.S. pay TV operators.
In addition to bundled telecom services, the ASCI rankings also include video streaming services. This year’s rankings were led by a new entry, Disney Plus, which scored an 80 out of the gate, edging Netflix, which declined one point to a 78 score.
The ranking’s other new entry, Apple TV Plus, finished in the middle of the pack with a 74 score. (HBO Max is too new to be ranked.)
The biggest decliners were virtual MVPDs Sling TV, which dropped three points to finish near the bottom of the rankings with a 71 score, and AT&T TV Now, which also dropped three points to a 72.
Services were ranking on factors such as mobile app quality, library depth and call center satisfaction.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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