page contents Cable TV double- and triple-plays are becoming irrelevant – The News Headline

Cable TV double- and triple-plays are becoming irrelevant

Ultimate week, Comcast made up our minds to actual some vengeance on web subscribers who’ve deserted its cable TV carrier.

Whilst Comcast is offering important web pace boosts to its TV subscribers in positive markets (together with Houston, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and southwestern Washington state), consumers who’ve handiest web carrier received’t get the ones upgrades. For the reason that Comcast has been elevating web costs with the justification that buyers are getting extra for his or her cash, cord-cutters are successfully being punished with stagnant speeds.

The transfer more than likely received’t forestall Comcast from bleeding TV subscribers—it misplaced 96,000 of them closing quarter—however it does underscore how cable suppliers are changing into determined to prop up the type of double- and triple-play offers that have been as soon as a cornerstone in their trade. Whilst Comcast holds web speeds for ransom, different firms are growing higher carrier bundles out of doors the cable machine, permitting cord-cutters to economize even when they lose the package reductions that cable as soon as supplied.

Meet the brand new double play

Now that TV carrier is uncoupling itself from cable, wi-fi carriers are beginning to step in with package offers that cater to cord-cutters.

Ultimate 12 months, as an example, AT&T began offering a $15-per-month bargain on DirecTV Now carrier for purchasers with positive limitless wi-fi knowledge plans, knocking the bottom value of DirecTV Now down to simply $20 monthly. When AT&T launches a extra restricted model of its TV carrier for $15 monthly later this 12 months, wi-fi subscribers gets it free of charge. (That carrier might be extra of a PR play by way of AT&T because it tries to procure Time Warner, however that’s any other tale.)

In the meantime, different wi-fi carriers have began assembling TV offers of their very own. T-Cellular provides loose Netflix (an $11-per-month worth) for subscribers with limitless knowledge plans and no less than two lively traces, and in brief threw in a loose 12 months of MLB TV streaming (typically $116) when the baseball season started. Dash’s limitless plans come with a loose subscription to Hulu, which typically prices $eight monthly.

Be expecting to look much more wi-fi double-play offers at some point, particularly as carriers attempt to marketplace their upcoming 5G wi-fi networks. T-Cellular has already introduced plans to construct its personal TV carrier this 12 months, fueled by way of an acquisition of IPTV startup Layer3 TV. Verizon has additionally been hinting at a TV providing, which it now says will release later this 12 months along its preliminary 5G community.

It’d be silly to view wi-fi carriers as saviors—they’re continuously simply as underhanded and anti-consumer as stressed web suppliers—however no less than they’ve identified that bundling their carrier with TV is a herbal are compatible for a rising target audience of cable TV defectors.

New sorts of bundles

Although you don’t undertake a double play deal from a wi-fi service, there are increasingly more techniques to package and save out of doors of the cable TV global.

Hulu and Spotify lately supplied the easiest instance: With Spotify’s $10-per-month streaming song carrier, you’ll add three months of Hulu for a dollar, followed by a $5-per-month discount on both services. That brings the total to $13 per month with Hulu’s ad-supported plan. (Unfortunately, the deal isn’t available with Hulu’s ad-free plan or live TV service.)

This week, Philo also announced that its $16-per-month sports-free TV bundle will include three months of free Pandora Premium service, which is similar to Spotify and normally costs $10 per month. While this isn’t an ongoing discount, like what Spotify and Hulu are offering, perhaps it’s a sign that more online services will come together with bundle deals in the future.

Even Amazon Prime is a bundle on some level, providing free shipping, Prime Video, a selection of streaming music, and Kindle book rentals for roughly the same price as other standalone video services. (This is true even with Amazon raising Prime prices from $100 per year to $120 per year starting later this month.) And if you want to add a Showtime subscription, it’s $9 per month through Amazon’s Channels for Prime subscribers, versus $11 per month by itself.

Granted, none of this will spare you from needing home internet service, which may explain why Comcast added 397,000 residential internet subscribers last quarter even as its TV subscriber count plummeted. But with a new wave of bundle deals outside the cable system—and cheaper TV service through streaming video providers—traditional double- and triple-play deals just don’t save money like they used to. For a company like Comcast, acts of vindictiveness are all it has left to uphold its pay TV empire.

Update: In response to this story, Comcast has sent the following statement in response to this story: “This year alone, we have boosted speeds for Internet-only customers and customers in packages in more than two dozen different states across the country which added at least 50 Mbps more speed for these customers. In a few of our markets, we are also testing different multi-product packages by changing the Internet tiers for various packages we offer. Importantly, all of our internet tiers can be purchased as a stand-alone service by ANY Xfinity customer. We continue to deliver the fastest speeds to the most homes in the country – in fact, 75% of our customers now have speeds of 100 Mbps or higher and Gigabit service is now available to more than 90 percent of our service area, including Internet-only customers.”

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