As vp/gm of Time Warner Cable‘s East Carolina division, Kim Cannon knows a bit about the digital transition. That’s because Wilmington, NC, made the migration 5 months before the rest of the country. An interesting takeaway: the system added just about as many new customers after the Sept 8 analog cutoff as before it—proving that some folks will wait until the last minute and beyond to prepare. And here’s something to make cable optimistic: Cannon told a CTAM panel Sun that 86% of those new customers had never subscribed to cable before. And even more heartwarming: the majority took expanded basic at a $40/month price point. Other lessons Cannon learned include not having a "DTV Event." No one will come. Go to where the people are (community festivals, etc), she said. Avoid any disruptions, such as channel changes, around the transition to avoid confusion. (TWC removed traps for HBO in the market, causing some to wonder if they were no longer getting the premium net for free because of the transition). One problem Time Warner encountered was a programming ID issue with DVRs after the switch. Series DVR recordings were no longer working because of a communications failure between the guide providers, broadcasters and cable. Cannon said the system ended up sending out an automated message to customers to get them to reset their DVRs. Insight is prepping for the Feb 17 transition with a few different offers and a lot of direct mail. Interestingly, it’s getting double the response rate for its $45/month offer for basic cable and phone than for its $15/month offer for basic cable, said svp, field ops Gregg Graff. Insight has tried marketing the bundle as phone and cable for $45/month and as unlimited calling for $45/month, plus free cable. Turns out, these non-customers are responding better to the bundled offer than the buy-one-get-one free promo, he said. In the last 6 months, Graff said Insight has seen 2% growth out of the group it has dubbed as OTA, non-customers. "The last 60 days [before the transition] will be the real growth," he said. Sunday marked 100 days before the transition.

The Daily


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