On Wednesday, Comcast agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable in a deal that values the latter at about $US45 billion. While the deal is most newsworthy for combining America’s two largest cable providers, it is also worth noting that two of the nation’s least popular companies will now be under one roof.
Even among other cable companies, whose regional near-monopolies breed poor service and frustrated customers, U.S. consumers find the merging pair particularly loathsome.
According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, which charts consumer sentiment toward companies, Time Warner Cable and Comcast are the United States’ least popular cable providers, trailing rivals like Verizon FiOS, Cablevision, and Charter Communications.
After analysing positive and negative sentiments about Comcast and Time Warner Cable over the past month, YouGov gave them index scores of -2 and -7, respectively, on a scale ranging from -100 to 100.
The nearest cable company to the bottom was Charter at -1 and the best was Verizon FiOS at 6. The index score averages six sub-scores it receives from consumers it polls based on value, general impression, satisfaction, quality, reputation, and willingness to recommend.
Here’s YouGov’s chart of Time Warner Cable and Comcast’s index scores dating back to the beginning of last year. The big valley you see for Time Warner Cable was a result of its protracted fight with CBS over retransmission feesthat resulted in millions of TWC subscribers being unable to watch CBS.
It’s possible that the merger might even make these companies less popular with consumers. By reducing competition, the merger, if approved, could allow Comcast and Time Warner Cable to more easily raise prices and institute caps on the amount of bandwidth customers use.
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