A case study of audience pay cable television preference

Analysts project a pay cable television market penetration level of 30% by 1985. In this regard this preliminary study was designed to examine the characteristics of pay TV audience in one test market. Located in San Diego, California, Channel 100, the nation's largest pay cable television operation, transmits its signal over Mission Cable and presently has 15,000 subscribers. Channel 100 has been on the air since March 3, 1973, and in the time since has become a part of its subscriber’s leisure time habits. Utilizing both an unstructured Q-method and open-ended discussion format, this study's results differentiated two distinct pay cable television subscriber groups: Type A, a predominantly male apartment dweller, and Type, B, typically a female-house combination. These two groupings, although not in agreement on all phases of the Channel 100 service, showed a significant consensus of positive opinion towards two features of the Channel 100 service -- the un-cut and the un-interrupted aspects of the pay television programming. This reflects the totality of film and the need for action to be built in a continuous line that only the pay system can offer at this time. Indicating Channel 100 as a most welcome alternative to normal commercial television, little change in leisure patterns was noticed in the respondents. The respondent groupings differed on two areas of pay service; the type of films to be presented (Type A wanting more R- and X-rated films, with the B group rejecting these and asking for more family type entertainment) and the use of cable feed for the television signal (the B grouping very much in favor of it and the A group not as convinced of the cable's necessity.) The results therefore indicate high rankings to the un-cut and un-interrupted feature of the pay cable television service and noted little change in living patterns of subscribers occurring in this highly appreciated alternative service.