AT&T Cable Rewards Program Set for Relaunch

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AT&T Broadband is preparing to promote the relaunch of its rewards program that offers cable subscribers incentives to purchase and retain premium services.

By the end of this month the company will roll out a new toll-free number, 888-Reward-Me, which the Denver-based cable will advertise through direct mail, television and the Internet. In the next few weeks the company will mail a new catalog of prizes that consumers can obtain by subscribing to premium cable services, and a parallel Web site enhancement also is in the works.

In addition to promoting the program's new moniker, AT&T Cable Rewards, the marketing push also hopes to drive consumers to upgrade their level of service to receive digital cable. AT&T Broadband, Denver, recently completed the acquisition of cable provider TCI, which specialized in digital service and previously operated the rewards program under the TCI Rewards label.

Customers who participate in the program earn points each month based on their level of service. Customers who subscribe to multiple premium channels or to digital cable receive more points each month than those who subscribe to more basic services, which account for about a third of the company's subscriber base.

The earlier version of the program generated a 10-percent reduction in the number of customers who cancel their cable service last year, compared with the disconnect number before the program, according to Doug Seserman, senior vice president of marketing at AT&T Broadband. In addition, the number of customers who downgraded their service declined by about 8-percent, he said. Meanwhile, subscriptions to digital cable, which earns consumers an additional 50 points per month, have increased by 18 percent.

The revamped program includes several new cable-channel co-sponsors and a range of new products that consumers can acquire via the catalog by using their points. A mere 275 points, which can be accumulated easily in a few months, earns a latte coffee mug, while a mini-TV costs 5,500 points.

Most of the redemptions have been from customers redeeming their points for multiple, small items, Seserman said, speculating that families are saving enough points to cash them in for prizes for all their children.

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