Weather or Not to Switch to Cable

The No. 1 reason why direct-broadcast satellite subscribers would consider switching to cable? Weather-related reception problems, according to a new survey by Lyra Research Inc.'s DTV View group.

"To woo satellite subscribers, the cable industry has focused on features such as local-channel reception, video-on-demand and bundling with high-speed Internet access," said Steve Hoffenberg, principal analyst for the DTV View report series and Lyra's director of electronic media research, in a prepared statement.

"But our survey respondents told us that foremost, they just wanted to be able to watch TV, rain or shine,” he added. “During stormy weather is precisely when viewers are most likely to want to stay indoors and watch TV."

Despite the rain-fade issue, Hoffenberg said, "The majority of our survey respondents said they were not likely to switch from satellite to cable in the next 12 months. While the satellite industry has not adequately addressed the rain-fade problem, cable providers' ads mentioning the issue haven't convinced satellite users to convert en masse.”

Relishing the Dish: A Satellite-TV User Survey polled more than 600 existing users of satellite-TV services in the United States during August and September.