Cable companies have had to scramble to adapt their strategies in recent years as more customers are cutting the cord and moving to packages that only provide Internet. For Time Warner Cable Inc. and Comcast Corp., that meant trying combine their operations into a cable television behemoth, at least until the FCC put the brakes on the deal. Cablevision System Corp., on the other hand, has decided to lean into the change with a new offering aimed at cord cutters.
Cablevision, which offers cable TV and Internet service through its Optimum Online product, announced Friday that it would be targeting households looking to avoid cable subscription fees by offering broadband service packaged with digital antennas, allowing them to receive over-the-air television broadcast signals.
'Reimagining' Relationship with Customers
Although Cablevision is an important Internet service provider in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut markets, it is nonetheless much smaller than Time Warner and Comcast, which would have combined to control up to 40 percent of the country’s broadband market, had the merger gone through.
Cablevision, on the other hand, is only the eighth largest ISP in the country. Since the company is only a regional player at best, it is difficult to predict how influential its new pricing strategy will be on the industry at large. But Comcast's announcement on Friday that it would no longer pursue the Time Warner merger may help push other cable providers to consider similar packages.
“As a connectivity company, Cablevision is reimagining its relationship with its customers,” said Kristin Dolan, chief operating officer, Cablevision. “Our new ‘cord cutter’ packages take a modern approach to traditional triple-product bundles and provide real alternatives that fit new consumer lifestyles.”
Cut the Cord for $50
The cord cutter package will provide access to high-speed broadband that facilitates a high-quality over-the-top video experience, a digital antenna, as well as the option to add the new digital streaming service HBO NOW. The offer would make Cablevision the only cable provider to offer HBO NOW to its Internet customers without requiring a cable subscription. Not including the HBO NOW service, the cord cutter package will cost just under $50 per month for the first 12 months of service.
The Optimum "Everyday Low Price" package, designed for highly price-sensitive consumers, includes Internet Basics (speeds up to 5 Mbps), Freewheel phone service, and a digital antenna. Launched earlier this year, Freewheel is a Wi-Fi-only phone service that provides unlimited data, talk and text over Wi-Fi networks, without access to cellular coverage. The Everyday Low Price package will be available for just under $40 per month for the first year. Customers who want access to the Freewheel service will also have to buy a Motorola Moto G Smartphone for around $100.
As the new product offers are primarily targeted to cord cutters, Cablevision said they will not include the company’s Optimum TV video service. Instead, the company will provide customers with digital television antennas for over-the-air broadcasts. All of the new packages include unlimited access to Optimum Wi-Fi, which provide users with Wi-Fi hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
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Posted: 2015-04-25 @ 10:58am PT
This is a great idea.