S3 Group Helps TV Operators Tackle Growing $10 Billion Service Assurance Problem

- nScreenMedia research estimates pay TV operators in the U.S. and Europe are spending $2.8B as a result of service delivery failures

- S3 Group consumer survey highlights problems with video streaming quality and reliability

Jul 14, 2015, 08:00 ET from S3 Group

DUBLIN, July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Research published today from nScreenMedia notes that U.S. and European pay TV operators are spending an estimated U.S. $2.8B of their almost $10B annual network and maintenance expenses to directly address multiscreen service delivery failures. S3 Group, a global leader at enhancing the performance and service readiness of video platforms across connected devices, commissioned the new report, "The Perils of Multiscreen Pay TV: and the $10B cost of making it all work," available here.

Specifically, according to the nScreenMedia report, U.S. operators are spending an estimated $5.3B a year to handle calls, manage outages, and provide in-home maintenance services. Similarly, European operators are spending an estimated €3.7B. Almost one third of these annual expenses are being spent to address multiscreen service delivery failures directly. This report notes that the velocity of feature updates, unmanaged devices, and spikes in system loads are creating multiple fail points, with the potential to swamp support. It also indicates that many of these issues could be prevented through more rigorous and continuous testing throughout the service delivery lifecycle. 

"The move to TV Everywhere and multiscreen delivery is forcing operators to tackle challenges with both managed and unmanaged devices, inside and outside of the connected home," said Colin Dixon, Chief Analyst and Founder, nScreenMedia. "As operators launch standalone over-the-top (OTT) TV and TV Everywhere services, early detection of performance and experience issues is critical. Nipping a problem in the bud, before most customers even know there is an issue, reduces support calls and minimizes the risk to an operator's reputation."

Dixon continued: "Testing with as wide a range of devices, and in as many network environments, as possible before release is essential. Adopting a continuous testing approach that closely mimics real-world usage should ensure early detection of even the worst problems. S3 Group is among those companies at the forefront of assisting operators with these efforts."

S3 Group's U.S. Service Quality Snapshot
In separate but related research, S3 Group also investigated video service delivery issues from the consumer perspective. In June, a survey was conducted of 452 U.S. consumers who pay for streaming video services from pay TV and OTT providers. The results highlight the difficulty of delivering a quality and reliable streaming video service. When asked if they had experienced service delivery problems in the past 30 days:

  • 20% of subscribers said that a program they selected to watch failed to play.
  • Subscribers also showed little tolerance for faults before changing the 'channel'. More than one in three (34%) said they switched to another TV or video service when their service failed to start.
  • 33% experienced picture quality problems such as pixelation, low resolution, or buffering on their streaming service.

"As delivery of TV services moves from a tightly controlled physical network to one that is based on customer owned CPE and virtualized environments, it becomes more challenging to manage their resilience and stability," said John Maguire, Chief Strategy Officer, TV Technology, S3 Group. "There is a need to modernize service delivery across the entire delivery chain. This report and our consumer research make it clear that operators need to act now to contain the costs of multiscreen service failures."

S3 Group works with leading operators to continuously and actively test all stages of the service delivery lifecycle, in development and in production, to optimize the total user experience. For information about its portfolio of offerings visit here.

About S3 Group | TV Technology:
S3 Group is a global leader at enhancing the performance and service readiness of video platforms across connected devices. In both development and production, S3 Group provides unique insights through service validation products and platform integration services for multiscreen deployments. S3 Group has more than 100 customers, across 28 countries, including: Astro, BT, Comcast, Kabel Deutschland, Liberty Global, Mediacom, NAGRA, Swisscom, Time Warner Cable, upc cablecom, RDK Management LLC, Sky, Videotron, and numerous others. Visit www.s3group.com/tv and www.twitter.com/S3Group_tvtech for further information.