Charter says it’s testing a $19.99-a-month streaming service designed to attract consumers who are now not subscribing to traditional pay TV plans, writes Variety.
The 25-channel service, called Spectrum Stream, does not include sports channels, which enables Charter to offer the lower monthly fee. Sports channels such as ESPN demand high carriage fees, which pay TV operators pass along to their customers via more expensive programming packages.
Spectrum Stream does include the local network affiliates, and basic cable staples such as AMC, CNN, Discovery Channel, FX, A&E and TNT. If a subscriber wants to add more news networks, and the sports channels, there’s a $12-a-month add-on plan.
“We are testing Spectrum Stream, an IP-delivered in-home cable TV product with traditional TV everywhere out-of-home streaming, to a group of pre-qualified and current Spectrum Internet customers to see if this smaller package resonates with a certain segment of non-video customers,” Charter told Variety.
Charter is the latest pay TV operator to offer a streaming service designed to woo consumers looking for cheaper TV plans online.
AT&T last November launched DIRECTV Now, a live streamer that offers a variety of plans starting at $35 a month. Dish Network in January 2015 launched Sling TV, which starts at $20 a month. CenturyLink has started CenturyLink Stream, which provides plans starting at $15 a month. And Comcast is expected to launch a streaming package in the third quarter with plans ranging from $15 a month to $40 a month.
In addition, there are live streaming services from non-pay TV operators such as Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live and Google’s YouTube TV.
— Phillip Swann