EMBARGOED NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1993 MANY REPORT SERVICE CHANGES FROM 1992 CABLE ACT;

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1 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 1 EMBARGOED NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1993 RELEASE: SL/EP 44-4 (EP 94-4) CONTACT: KEN DAUTRICH OR JANICE BALLOU RELEASE INFORMATION A story based on the survey findings presented in this release and background memo will appear in Sunday's Star- Ledger. We ask users to properly attribute this copyrighted information to "The Star-Ledger/Eagleton Poll." MANY REPORT SERVICE CHANGES FROM 1992 CABLE ACT; JERSEYANS FAVOR COMPETITION IN CABLE TV INDUSTRY As new federal cable television legislation forces changes in the channels offered by cable companies, 45 percent of subscribers in New Jersey say their channel line-up has been modified recently. Those who have seen changes in the channels offered are as likely to be satisfied (45%) with them as dissatisfied (46%). The Star-Ledger/Eagleton Poll, conducted by telephone with 801 New Jersey residents between September 10 and 15, 1993, also finds that slightly more than half (53%) of cable television subscribers think that their cable bill will increase as a result of the new law while only 12 percent feel it will decrease. Also, a majority (72%) of New Jersey's cable television subscribers favor opening up competition in the industry by allowing telephone companies to provide cable television services. Forty-four percent think cable prices would go down if telephone companies were allowed to compete with cable providers, 29 percent say prices would not change, and 20 percent feel that costs would increase. ATTENTION RADIO STATIONS: Audio is available after 8:00 A.M. on Monday, October 11, 1993, from (908) (Rutgers Feature Phone).

2 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 2 The survey also finds that large majorities of cable TV customers in the state report being satisfied with the number of channels currently offered by their cable company (79%) and the quality of service provided by their cable company (77%). However, 7-in-10 subscribers feel they pay too much for their service. EFFECTS OF 1992 CABLE ACT The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 is familiar to many New Jersey cable subscribers. One-quarter (24%) say they know a lot about this law, and 35 percent have read or heard some information about it. Another 18 percent indicate that they have read or heard a little about it. Among the more important provisions of the 1992 Cable Act, which went into effect on September 1, are heightened regulation of rates charged by cable companies, the right of broadcast stations to demand retransmission consent and the right of noncommercial or educational stations to demand that their channels be included in a cable companies' line-ups. As a result the potential changes that customers may experience are modified monthly cable bills and added and/or dropped channels. Current subscribers are more likely to say that the cost of their monthly service will increase rather than decrease as a result of the new Act. A majority (53%) say that the law will have the effect of increasing the cost of cable services, while only about 1-in-10 (12%) think it will bring prices down. Nearly 3-in-10 cable subscribers say the cost of their service will stay about the same. The survey, conducted several weeks after the new cable law went into effect, finds that 45 percent of subscribers statewide have noticed a change in the channels offered by their cable company. Specifically, 24 percent say that channels have been added to their cable service, 13 percent say channels have been dropped, 6 percent say channels have been both added and deleted, and 2 percent have noticed changes but are not sure if there have been channel deletions and/or additions. About 4-in-10 (41%) cable customers say there have been no changes in their channel lineup, and the remaining 13 percent don't know if there were changes. "Many customers are experiencing a number of changes as a result of the new Cable Act, the most visible of which are added or dropped channels and a new monthly bill," commented Ken Dautrich, the Poll's Associate Director. "But this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the looming

3 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 3 possibility of having phone companies compete with cable companies, coupled with technological advances and the coming of fiber-optics to New Jersey, it's likely that tomorrow's cable industry won't even resemble that of today." Among those who say there has been a change in the channels provided by their cable company as of September 1, 46 percent are very (25%) or somewhat (21%) dissatisfied with the changes while about the same number (45%) are very (16%) or somewhat (29%) satisfied with them. COMPETITION IN THE CABLE INDUSTRY Currently, cable companies in New Jersey do not face competition in providing cable TV services to New Jersey residents. A recent U. S. Federal Court decision, however, cleared the way for telephone companies to compete with cable companies by offering cable TV programming. If this court decision is upheld, it is possible that telephone companies may begin to compete with cable companies in New Jersey. The survey indicates that most of New Jersey's cable customers favor the idea of opening up a competitive marketplace for cable TV services. Nearly three-quarters of subscribers either strongly (54%) or mildly (18%) favor allowing telephone companies to compete with cable companies, while 1- in-5 strongly (13%) or mildly (8%) oppose such competition. By more than a 2-to-1 margin, cable television subscribers believe that the cost of cable service will go down (44%) rather than go up (20%) if telephone companies are allowed to compete with cable companies in providing cable service. Three-in-ten subscribers say that opening up competition will not have an effect on the cost of services. SATISFACTION WITH CURRENT CABLE COMPANY New Jerseyans currently paying for cable television service report high levels of satisfaction with the companies supplying those services. In terms of the number of channels offered, 4-in-5 subscribers report being either very (35%) or somewhat (44%) satisfied with their cable company while one-in-five are dissatisfied. With respect to satisfaction with the quality of customer service, nearly 4-in-5 are either very (39%) or somewhat (38%) satisfied with their current cable service provider. Fifteen percent are very dissatisfied, and 7 percent are somewhat dissatisfied with the quality of customer service offered by their cable company.

4 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 4 Despite these high levels of satisfaction, fully 7-in-10 of New Jersey's cable customers feel they pay too much for what they get. About one-quarter (27%) of cable customers say they get their money's worth for what they pay for cable services Copyright, October 10, 1993, The Eagleton Institute and Newark Star-Ledger.

5 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 5 BACKGROUND MEMO RELEASE SL/EP44-4 (EP94-4), SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1993 The latest Star-Ledger/Eagleton Poll was conducted between September 10 and 15, 1993, when a random sample of 801 New Jerseyans, 18 years and older, was interviewed by telephone. Figures based on this sample size are subject to a sampling error of about ±3.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval. Sampling error is the probable difference in results between interviewing everyone in the population versus a scientific sample taken from that population. Sampling error does not take into account other possible sources of error inherent in any study of public opinion. The questions and figures referred to in this release are presented below. The location of each question on the actual questionnaire is in brackets. "Is cable television available in the area where you live?" If "YES" ask: Does your household currently subscribe to cable television?" [Q.C-1, C-2] Subscribes Available-- To Not Not Cable TV Subscribe Available Total (n) --Total 75% 24% 1% 100% (801) "Overall, how satisfied are you with the number of channels offered to you by your cable company very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?" [Q.C-3] Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Don't Satisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 35% 44% 10% 10% 1% 100% (613) "And, how satisfied are you with the quality of service provided by your cable company very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?" [Q.C-4] Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Don't Satisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 39% 38% 15% 7% -- 99% (612) "And, would you say that you get your money's worth for what you pay for cable service, or do you think you pay too much?" [Q.C-5] Get Money's Pay Too Don't Worth Much Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 27% 71% 1% 99% (613)

6 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 6 "Recently a new federal law went into effect called the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act. The law may require cable companies to change channel lineups and modify the rates they charge customers through stricter regulations. Have you read or heard anything about this law? If "YES" ask: How much a lot, some, or just a little?" [Q.C-6] Yes-- Yes-- Yes-- Don't A Lot Some A Little No Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 24% 35% 18% 21% 1% 99% (613) "Do you think this new law will increase or decrease the cost of your cable service, or do you think it will stay the same?" [Q.C-7] Stay Don't Increase Decrease Same Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 53% 12% 28% 7% 100% (613) "The new law might also change the channels available to cable TV subscribers. Over the past week or two, have you noticed whether certain channels have been added or dropped by your cable company? If "YES" probe: Have channels been added or dropped?" [Q.C-8] Yes-- Yes-- Yes-- Both Yes-- Channels Channels Added and Don't No Don't Added Dropped Dropped Know Change Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 24% 13% 6% 2% 41% 13% 99% (613) IF RESPONDENTS INDICATED THAT CHANNELS WERE ADDED AND/OR DROPPED, THEY WERE ASKED THE FOLLOWING: "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with these changes? (PROBE: very or somewhat satisfied/dissatisfied?) [Q.C-9] Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Don't Satisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 16% 29% 21% 25% 9% 100% (281) "Right now there is no local competition in the cable television industry in New Jersey. It is possible that in the future your telephone company could provide cable television service to your home. Do you favor or oppose allowing telephone companies to compete with cable companies? PROBE: Would you favor/oppose it strongly or mildly?" [Q.C-10] Strongly Mildly Mildly Strongly Don't Favor Favor Oppose Oppose Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 54% 18% 8% 13% 7% 100% (616)

7 EP94-4 (SL/EP44-4) Page 7 "If telephone companies were allowed to compete with cable companies by providing cable television service to your home, do you think the cost of cable service would go up, go down, or not really change?" [Q.C-11] Go Not Don't Go Up Down Change Know Total (n) --Cable subscribers 20% 44% 29% 6% 99% (616)

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