AT&T stopped selling new subscriptions to one its several legacy pay TV services, U-verse TV, in April of 2020. But according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index ranking of telecom services, U-verse TV is the top-rated U.S. pay TV platform, improving its score by an impressive 6% in the 12 months since the ASCI published its last report.
So the U.S. pay TV business, which is currently in free fall, is sunsetting its most well-received product? If not for the involvement of AT&T, that would not make sense.
Notably, AT&T’s other linear pay TV service, satellite TV platform DirecTV, saw its score improve by 3% and placed No. 3 in ASCI’s pay TV services ranking with a 66 score, eight points lower than U-verse.
U-Verse also ranked No. 1 in terms of its VOD component, and AT&T was also named the top customer satisfaction generator for both wireline internet and landline telephone services.
In February, AT&T reached an agreement with private equity firm TPG Capital to spin off its entire U.S. subscription video unit, which includes U-verse TV, DirecTV and the newer IP-based AT&T TV. These three services, which AT&T combines under the heading “premium TV” on its balance sheets, lost a combined 620,000 subscribers in the first quarter … some of them presumably satisfied.
ASCI didn’t include AT&T TV in its rankings. However, in ASCI's ranking of streaming video services—which Next TV sibling pub Broadcasting & Cable wrote about Tuesday morning— placed AT&T TV Now near the bottom. Skinny bundled streaming service AT&T TV Now operated on the same technology platform as AT&T TV and was recently subsumed by AT&T TV.
Also notable: Ranking No. 1 in customer satisfaction for U.S. linear pay TV services was Fios TV, a platform Verizon has seemingly given up on amid its current fixation with 5G buildout.
The ACSI Telecommunications Study 2020-2021 is based on interviews with 37,907 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between April 1, 2020, and March 29, 2021.
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