Martin Inside The Curious Mind Of John Malone by Mark Robichaux, Multichannel News

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MCN: This last quarter seemed to better than most in terms of subscriber retention for cable operators. Do you think it’s sustainable?

John Malone: The industry is doing better. I mean, I don’t have the inside look at anything other than Charter in terms of U.S. cable. But I would say in Charter’s case, absolutely it’s sustainable. They are delivering a value package to consumers.

If you think about it, it’s all-digital, it’s all high-definition on the video side, it’s higher-speed Internet and it’s simple. There’s a package. And the public seems to like that.

If [customers] have to contact the company, the company’s CSRs are here in the U.S.; they are well trained and the services are straightforward. So, if you can make the relationship with the customer painless and give them a lot of value, I think that’s Tom’s [Charter CEO Tom Rutledge] whole approach.

MCN: A lot of those gains for cable seem to be coming from telephone and satellite companies.

John Malone: I think that it’s just a better service. Very simple: You give the consumer a better service. You should gain share if you’re better than your competitor. There is no mystery to it.

What Tom’s secret, I think is, is demanding simplicity, consistency. And in his view, you give the consumer value. You look at what you’ve got to give them and you try and give them a package that conveys the most value for the least dollars. And that’s what you train your people to deliver.

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Inside the Curious Mind of John Malone