Charter is looking for a new way to fight the cord cutting trend – by joining it.
Users on Reddit noted the operator is testing a $20 bundle called Spectrum Stream that allows users to stream live TV across all their devices. The package features more than 25 channels, including news channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS, as well as entertainment options like FX, Bravo, USA, Animal Planet, AMC, the Food Network, and the History Channel. Noticeably absent from the package are sports channels, though a picture of Charter’s advertisement notes live sports from ESPN and others can be added for an additional $12 per month. Premium entertainment channels including HBO and Showtime are also offered as add-ons at a cost of $7.50 each per month.
“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 prequalified and current Spectrum Internet customers to see if this smaller package resonates with a certain segment of non-video customers,” the comapny said in a statement. “It includes local broadcast channels, 25 popular cable networks and access to thousands of On Demand choices — along with options for additional news, sports and premium channels — delivered to connected and mobile devices, without requiring a set-top box.”
The offer comes in the wake of a rough first quarter for Charter in which the company reported the loss of 100,000 residential video customers.
Parks Associates recently found 20 percent of U.S. pay TV subscribers are dissatisfied with their service. But Charter appears to be barking up the right tree here. The firm also found 63 million U.S. broadband households subscribe to an OTT video service, while slightly more than a third (36 percent) have at least one streaming media player.
Charter’s streaming bundle is up against rival AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming video service, which offers a base streaming package including more than 65 channels for $35 per month. DirecTV Now on Friday said it’s more than doubling the number of supported local stations with the addition of more ABC, NBC, and FOX affiliates to its offering. The expansion will bring ABC to more than 30 new markets (including Atlanta, Dallas, and Boston), NBC to four new markets (Kansas City, Mo., Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach, Fla.), and FOX into Juneau, Alaska.
AT&T said more markets are expected to come online by the end of August.