US satellite TV cos strive to be customer-oriented

CALIFORNIA: Satellite TV service providers in the US are gearing up to expand their customer base by aggressively tapping new geographic locations and becoming more customer-friendly.

A multichannel report says that Comcast Corp. will bring HDTV a little closer to Tinseltown, launching HDTV (High Definition TV) in the Hollywood area from 29 May onwards.

The list of cities on tap for HDTV includes Hollywood, Santa Clarita, Inglewood, Culver City, Pomona, Bellflower, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Corona and Lake Elsinore, among others.

The report also says that Comcast will launch with the local ABC, NBC, PBS and Fox affiliates, along with Home Box Office and Showtime. The HDTV programming and rental of the HDTV decoder is priced at $5 per month. 

Meanwhile, satellite companies continue to beat cable operators in customer-satisfaction surveys. DirecTV Inc. topped the American Customer Satisfaction Index compiled by the University of Michigan, scoring a 72.

It was followed by direct-broadcast satellite rival EchoStar Communications Corp. (68), Time Warner Cable (61) and Charter Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., which each scored a 55. EchoStar, the nation's second-largest satellite TV provider, with 8.5 million subscribers at the end of March and second to DirecTV's 11.4 million, reported a $58 million profit in the first quarter. MSOs in the "other" category drew a 60. 

Another report says that EchoStar Communications Corp. has agreed to pay $5 million to settle customer complaints about its satellite TV service in 13 states, Colorado's attorney general was quoted as saying on 22 May 2003.

Prosecutors in those states had been investigating EchoStar for allegedly violating consumer protection laws with misleading advertisements, but no lawsuits have been filed.

EchoStar executives said the company had not broken any laws but agreed to the settlement to avoid potentially long and costly litigation. The Littleton, Colo.-based company agreed to change advertisements and other sales literature for its Dish Network and to improve procedures for customers to cancel service and resolve complaints quickly.

"Customer satisfaction has always been a top priority for our company," chairman and chief executive officer Charles Ergen was quoted as saying in a statement.

The settlement involves about 1,800 complaints from consumers who felt the Dish Network misled them about pricing and contract issues, and charged their bank accounts or credit cards without consent, Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar said. Some people had complained that the ads failed to disclose a $240 early termination fee and extra charges for local programming, Salazar said.

About $3 million of the settlement will be used to compensate consumers, and the rest will be used to cover the cost of the states' 18-month investigation.

The settlement will take effect in September. Consumers who file complaints will be compensated at an amount to be determined by the attorney general in each state.

"I think the message to all those businesses in this state and in this country is first and foremost be up front with your customers," Salazar said. "If you don't, you may end up in an investigation like EchoStar was in."

The states involved are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Latest Reads
Andrew Jordan announced successor of AsiaSat's William Wade

Asia Satellite Telecommunications has announced the retirement of its executive director, president and CEO William Wade. He will serve his last day in the company on 1 November 2016 but will stay back as the senior advisor of AsiaSat until 31 March 2017.

Satellites Satellite Operators
GSAT-18 successfully launches, new capacity for DTH operators, TV channels

MUMBAI: Indian DTH operators, television channels, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering providers are a happy lot because of a development in Kouro French Guiana this morning. The reason: the successful launch of Arianespace’s Ariane 5 VA 531 rocket with its passenger, the Indian Space...

Satellites Satellite Launches
Bad weather pushes forward GSAT-18 launch

MUMBAI: The nation - and communication satellite trackers - will have to wait for another day. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the launch of its GSAT-18 communications satellite has been delayed by a day. According to its launch partner, Arianespace, the flight...

Satellites Satellite Launches
ISRO's PSLV-C35 launches seven other satellites successfully

Around two hours after lift-off and after placing India’s weather satellite ScatSat1 in a polar sun synchronous orbit at 720 km, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) PSLV C35 rocket fired once again. Following that maneuver, it placed another seven satellites in orbit at an altitude...

Satellites Satellite Operators
ISRO’s PSLV-C35 takes off successfully, Scatsat1 launched

MUMBAI: It’s another feather in ISRO’s cap. The Indian space outfit seems to be going from success to success. Earlier this morning at 9:12 am, its latest mission the PSLV-C35 lifted off immaculately from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Around 17 minutes later, its fourth stage...

Satellites Satellite Launches
ISRO to launch eight satellites using PSLV on 26 September

MUMBAI: It will be the second satellite launch this month for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). On 26 September 2016 at exactly 9:12 am the PSLV C35 will blast off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will mark the 37th...

Satellites Satellite Launches
XTreme-AsiaSat to provide 4K premium UHD content

4K-SAT, the Ultra-HD channel operated by Asia’s premier satellite operator Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat), will be broadcasting premium extreme and outdoor content from XTreme Video on AsiaSat 4.

Satellites Satellite Operators
Govt satellite launches, including from India, to dominate future space market: Euroconsult

NEW DELHI: A major portion of satellites slated to be launched from 2016-2015 with launch mass over 50kg will be dominated by government satellites from countries like the US, Russia, India, China and Japan, according to Euroconsult.

Satellites Satellite Launches
India’s weather satellite INSAT-3DR launched successfully

India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), on Thursday, successfully launched the country's weather satellite INSAT-3DR, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in its tenth flight (GSLV-F05). The achieved orbit is very close to the...

Satellites Satellite Launches

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories