Cable subscribers less interested in switch to OTT TV

Monday 7 September 2015 | 15:20 CET | Background

Triple-play subscribers at DSL and fibre providers are more interested in replacing their TV subscription with an online TV service than customers at cable operators, according to research by the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey in July 2015 also found dual-play subscribers are more likely to consider changing their TV subscriptions for an OTT offer.  

A fifth (21%) of triple-play subscribers with a DSL or fibre provider said they would consider replacing their TV subscription with an OTT service under certain conditions. The new service would have to include the most popular TV channels in the Netherlands (NPO, RTL, SBS channels) and provide a savings of around EUR 100 per year. Among dual-play subscribers, 22 percent said they would be willing to swap their pay-TV service for an online TV subscription.


Triple-play subscribers on cable networks were less interested in switching to an OTT service; only 10 percent said the above conditions were enough to make the change. It should be noted that it's not possible to cancel the TV element of a cable subscription in the Netherlands and still keep broadband with the same provider. This may be why 19 percent of the triple-play cable subscribers said they did not want to switch to an internet TV provider, as ending their cable TV subscription means also changing to a DSL or fibre broadband provider.

Among dual-play subscribers, 21 percent said they did not want to switch to a new internet TV provider. This includes both cable and fibre/DSL customers, with at least one element of their package TV. Almost a third (29%) of the dual-play customers said they wanted to continue to watch TV in the traditional way; 22 percent of triple-play users on DSL/fibre and 18 percent of cable triple-play customers also gave this as a reason not to switch to an OTT offer. 

Cable customers want to keep foreign channels

Another reason not to switch to an online TV service is that consumers want to keep access to foreign channels. This was given as a reason by 12 percent of the cable triple-play subscribers, 9 percent of those on dual-play plans and 8 percent of DSL/fibre triple-play customers. This may be explained by cable being the first system to offer foreign channels (from Belgium, UK, Germany etc), while customers of the more recent DSL and fibre networks could be more used to accessing content online.

A survey by Reggefiber in March 2014 found that fibre users also are more active in streaming films and using smart TVs than broadband users on other types of network. This may explain why they are less attached to the large number of channels offered in most pay-TV packages. An OTT service with the ten most popular channels would probably be enough for this group. 

Almost 40 percent of DSL/fibre triple-play subscribers said they want to keep all their services on one bill, rather than take a separate subscription for an OTT service. A third of cable triple-play subscribers also want to keep everything in one package. 

Conclusion: new OTT proposition has best chance with DSL/fibre customers

It appears a new OTT TV service would have the best chance with fibre and DSL broadband users. Dual-play customers, who may have already given up a fixed line, could also prove fertile ground for targeting a new OTT service. Providers such as Telfort and Vodafone make it easier to cancel the TV service, so their subscribers could also be a target market for an online TV service. Cable customers appear more attached to their traditional pay-TV plans and also face the hurdle of finding a new broadband provider if they decided to give up cable TV. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in July 2015 (n=1,349). Three groups (triple-play DSL/fibre, triple-play cable and dual/single-play subscribers) were asked if they would cancel their TV subscription if a new TV service was available online that included the most popular Dutch channels and offered savings of around EUR 100 per year. Panel members are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information about research opportunities with our panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment