2011: MCA Consumer Perceptions Survey - Broadcasting Services

The MCA has today published the results of a survey it carried out between July and September, in order to gauge consumer perceptions and satisfaction levels with regard to broadcasting services. Following last month’s internet broadband survey publication, this is the second in a series of MCA surveys, which will also cover mobile and fixed telephony, results of which will be published in the coming weeks.

Results from this survey show that 99% of Maltese households have a TV set at home.

In terms of quality satisfaction levels, an average of more than 70% of Pay-TV subscribers say they are satisfied or highly satisfied with the quality of their TV connection service, of which, 78% are GO DTTV subscribers, 70% are Melita Digital subscribers while 66% are subscribed to the Melita analogue service.

The findings of the survey also show that a great number of households are not familiar with the basic terms and conditions of their contract, with 48% and 38% of Melita digital subscribers and GO DTTV subscribers respectively not aware of their subscription (contract) period.

Similarly, around 25% of Pay-TV subscribers do not know how much they are paying for their TV service. The majority of those households that are however aware of how much they are paying for their TV service conclude that price levels are neither expensive nor cheap.

‘It is very important that consumers are aware of all the conditions that they enter into when subscribing to a service. This will ultimately diminish the possibility of conflict between the consumer and the service provider and thus lead to a more positive customer experience. This does not however exonerate the service provider from its obligation to provide all the information necessary to the consumers in order for the latter to make more informed decisions,’ said Ing. Philip Micallef, Executive Chairman of the MCA.

‘In fact, recent changes to the EU regulatory framework has given more protection to the consumers and strengthened obligations relating to transparency of information in this regard,’ continued Ing. Micallef.

One of the objectives underlying these surveys is to keep tabs on the undergoing development within the Maltese electronic communication services, particularly with the growing trend in bundled services and the degree of subscription switches between operators.

Today, customers can subscribe to packaged products bundling two or more electronic communication services offered by the same provider. These bundles provide certain advantages to consumers in terms of cost savings and single billing and thus have become very popular within the local context.

The survey confirms this reality with around 30% of Melita digital subscribers and 57% of GO DTTV subscribers today claim to have their TV connection forming part of a bundle.

According to the survey circa 16% of Pay-TV households are also subscribed to one or more premium channels (such as sports or movie channels) – 6 percentage points less than in 2009.

The survey also highlights that 12% of households with a TV subscription have switched from one type of TV connection to another over the last two years. Commonly suggested reasons for switching included the bundle offer and better price levels.

The survey also sheds light on the viewership of TV content over the Internet, with 19% of households claiming to view TV via the internet. More interesting is the fact that 27% of these households very often consider internet TV as a good substitute to traditional TV. TV series, followed by live streaming programmes and sports have been found to be most viewed over the Internet.

With respect to the Digital Audio Broadcasting plus (DAB+) radio sets the survey indicates low penetration with only 3% of households confirming to have such a platform.

Results of surveys for other electronic communications services will be published in the coming weeks.

 View Survey Results