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TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

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Marianne Paskowski



TWC Preps for FiOS NYC Assault

June 11, 2008 12:48 PM

Verizon’s FiOS service is set to launch in New York City this fall, and Time Warner Cable is making a smart move.

It doesn’t sound like much on the surface, mainly a few new tech features, but—more important—letting its cable subscribers lock in price guarantees.

That’s the real killer app in a war that will be won on price.

My friend Bobby in White Plains, N.Y., just dumped her service provider, Cablevision, and its triple-play service. She loved Cablevision’s video, voice and cable modem, but she was sick and tired of the annual price increases.

So as we speak, she’s enduring the daylong FiOS installation, and I can’t wait to hear how she fares.

She made the switch because FiOS is locking in her rate for two years. And that’s the only reason she’s putting up with the grief of making the change.

Anyone else out here who has made the switch to FiOS? How do you like it?

I’d switch in a New York minute, but it’s not available on the spit of sand where we live.

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Comments (10)

cruiser:

Yo, Blondie --

It's a capitalistic market, and sparring over prices is part of the game -- up to a point. Sustainable market shares aren't won by price cuts (though broadband/cable service is "sticky" with high switching costs to the customer). Watch for a dramatic service/feature increase from one of the current players, or a new interloper, to attempt to rewrite the rules of engagement.

Hint: It won't be smell-o-vision!

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne :

Cruiser,
For now cost is the pivot. TWC is flirting with HDTV, big deal, doesn't rock my socks.

The only sticky things about the cable stocks and teclo stocks is inertia.

Thanks for your post,
Marianne

Dr. Foster K. Williamson, PhD:

Dear Ms. Paskowski --

Whenever we at The Institute see a looming price war, we activate our econometric models in order to predict winners and losers. Unfortunately, our model is showing that both Verizon and Time Warner will be losers in this new price war. The answer lies in the Loyalty Algorithm correlates we've developed, exclusively, through our logit analysis of historical data of media supplier switching in Manhattan. Lately, we've included cell phone service switching data to the model. Our data, which include the entire history of Manhattan, go back to subscription cancellations for Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian broadsheet newspapers in the 1780s.

One conclusion is inescapable: the FIOS vs. Time Warmer battle will enervate both parties, as proven by our log-linear cluster analyses of t-distributions. The big winner will be Cablevision, if Jimmy Dolan can get his picture replacing Hamilton's on the $10 bill.

Again, looking historically, earmarks the Mugwump party won during the late 19th century administration of Grover Cleveland depended heavily on heavy pro-Cleveland support from Mugwump-owned media: the "Muggies" in the parlance of the day.

For Jimmy Dolan to get his cameo on the 10-spot will depend on his support for the John McCain candidacy-- specifically by providing news coverage on Cablevision that totally ignores Barack Obama.

Hey -- It's all in the numbers, if they're longitudinally decomposed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Foster K. Williamson, PhD

Marianne :

Oh Doc,

You're charts blow. Cablevision is losing subscribers in Westchester, where Verizon FiOS is picking up steam.

Cablevision's problem is it is pig, won't lower prices. That's why Bobby left. I suspect others.

About TWC, smart move.

Regards, I think,
mp

Dear Dr. Williamson,

The more I read you the more I wonder if you and I don't hail from the same "Institute."

I'm bipolar.

You?

Marianne :

Hi Cory,
The doc said one good thing, not figuring mobile into the price equation, for any of them.
Thanks for your post,
Marianne

Rob:

I am a left coaster where Verizon Fios has been available for over 6 months. As a subscriber there have been a few positives, mainly the ability to "bundle" features. I know that's not new by any stretch; Charter Cable and Time Warner bundle internet, cable tv, and VOIP. But where Fios shines is in the technology - fiber can carry so much more data, resulting in faster net speeds, and get this - less compressed HD channels. Cable and DirecTV have to throttle their signals while Verizon can offer the cleanest picture out there.

Marianne, it will be interesting to see how your friend fares, because out here while the price on the services are locked in, the prices on the infrastructure is not. I bet that's the first line item they increase in monthly fees.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hiya Rob,

Let me know what you're bill looks like, after the lock down period is over. I think they make these words up like tariff, whatever cost they can conjure up.

My next blog is going to be about my Comcast bill and it's left footws explanation about why MSNBC and several other nets are going off of analogue and to junior training wheels digital, that's not the real name of the new level of service, I can't remember, just sorta making that up.

Bottom line, I don't like it, still checking it out.

Thanks for the post,

MP

Oliver:

I've just made the switch from fios to twc myself. Regarding price, I've been with twc since 2002, by 2006 my bill hit $200/mo. I had to get rid of one stb, exchange another stb for a cable card, I never had a dvr or on demand, I slowed down my internet, and only got my bill down to $130/mo after taxes.

verizon is giving me everything, including 3 stb, multiroom dvr, faster internet, and more HD channels than I had for about $80 after taxes for first 6mo, and $115 after taxes for next 6 mo.

Marc:

I have been thinking about switching to FiOS, however the Verizon sales reps don't seem to have details regarding some issues that the cable company is pushing --

Taxes are much higher (I could see that being the case for the phone, but can you give me an idea of the taxes for tv in New York City?)

The ONT eats up $10/month in electricty (any idea how many watts it uses, and is it for phone only or is it necessary even for just TV and/or internet?)

Batteries are expensive (FiOS reps have stated that they are common batteries available at many retail stores -- would this be a 12 volt lantern battery or something similar? Any idea of the cost to replace and how often or is that ever done by Verizon?)


My cable provider sent a "sample" bill of what to expect from Verizon. One thing I did NOT see was a premium duplication charge to have channels such as HBO on more than one set -- is that correct?

Lastly, is there a way to hook up a little used TV directly without a set top box to just get the very basic service (even if just the broadcast channels)?

Thanks in advance for any details!

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