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82% of Viewers Want A La Carte Pay TV Options: Digitalsmiths
Many pay TV customers are dissatisfied and overwhelmed. Offering smaller, tailored options could help cable and satellite compete.

With online TV packages such as Sling TV growing in popularity, video metadata specialist Digitalsmiths decided to examine the area of smaller pay TV bundles in its Q1 2015 Video Trends Report. Of those surveyed, 81.6 percent showed interest in à la carte services. Given a list of 75 popular cable channels and asked to create an ideal lineup, respondents chose an average of 17 channels. The average price they would pay for such a plan is $38.

The most popular channels in this hypothetical service were ABC, Discovery channel, CBS, NBC, and the History Channel. The report presents a full ranking of the channels, pointing out that ESPN came in 20th.

Cable and satellite operators, of course, do not offer à la carte options, but Digitalsmiths sees it as a way for pay TV operators to "think creatively and offer different structures in their packages." Presenting "skinny packages" could entice consumers who are attracted to new online services, it says.

That creative thinking could be a good idea, as Digitalsmiths sees cord-cutting increasing. In Q1 2015, 7.7 percent of respondents had changed their provider in the last 3 months, a 2 percent year-over-year increase. In the next 6 months, 15.3 percent plan to switch, change, or cut their pay TV service.

The report surveyed 3,144 adults in the United States. The full report is available for free download (registration required).

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