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Digital Subs Stay Loyal: CTAM Study

Cable subscribers change their viewing behavior once they
upgrade to digital video, according to a study from CTAM, the marketing trade group of the
cable industry.

In a survey conducted this past fall of roughly 1,500
digital-cable customers across the country, CTAM found that digital also helps to keep
subscribers loyal to cable.

69 percent watch more channels

60 percent watch different types of programs

47 percent watch more premium television

45 percent rent fewer videotapes

41 percent listen to digital music more

31 percent go to the movies less often

22 percent purchase compact discs less often

The study found that before subscribing to digital cable,
36 percent had considered leaving cable for direct-broadcast satellite. But only 7 percent
of digital-cable customers surveyed plan to disconnect their service.

Perhaps it's because digital-cable customers have more to
keep them involved. Once they upgrade to digital, 69 percent watch more channels, and 60
percent said they watch different types of programs.

Premium-movie networks get a big boost from digital: 47
percent of digital-cable subscribers said they now watch more premium television. A very
similar figure -- 45 percent -- said they rent fewer videotapes.

And it's not just video services that benefit from digital
upgrades. A total of 41 percent of digital-cable subscribers polled are also listening to
digital music more often, and 22 percent purchase audio compact discs less frequently.

"Understanding what impacts human behavior is
essential as marketers try to introduce new digital products and services," said
Barbara Gural, vice president of research, in a press release. "Consumers are telling
us that digital may just be the key to many of the issues that have dogged the cable
industry over the past few years."

CTAM is selling its "Digital Cable TV Customer
Satisfaction Study" for $5,500.