Whoa! Must Read — Potential Game Changer on the Horizon: ‘Did Comcast Just Take a First Step Toward Unbundling HBO?’

October 25, 2013  •  Post A Comment

That’s the provocative headline for a piece on the respected site Gigaom.com, which has been covering the intersection of business and technology for the past seven years.

Says the story: "Love HBO, but hate paying for expensive cable bundles? Comcast’s got a deal for you: The cable provider just started to promote a new offering dubbed “Internet Plus” that consists of internet access, HBO and local TV channels for $40 a month."

Comcast is the nation’s largest multiple-system cable operator (MSO), as well as the owner of NBCUniversal.

The story is illustrated with this screenshot describing the deal — click on the photo to enlarge it to make it easier to read:

comcast-internet-plus.jpgThe article continues: "It’s worth noting that the Internet Plus pricing is only valid for 12 months, after which the price would go up to $70 per month. There are also the typical monthly fees and charges, but no long-term contract."

The story also notes: "Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, whose company owns HBO, recently brought up the idea of bundling HBO with broadband plans, calling it ‘an offer you can’t refuse.’ Now we know what he was talking about."

2 Comment

  1. Hmmmm. Maybe this is a new way of offering a bundle but to my knowledge if a customer was taking the Lifeline Basic Cable Service, every cable company had to be able to offer HBO or any other Premium service to that customer anyway.
    In other words, cable companies, to my knowledge, could not force a Basic Lifeline customer to take Expanded Basic to gain access to HBO or any other premium service. I believe all Premium contracts are written that way?
    Usually, most Basic Lifeline customers simply do not want HBO or any other Premium service but if they ask cable companies have to be able to give it to them. All the customer has to do is ask.

  2. Thanks for you comment, Les. I believe you are correct. For example, if one lives in Manhattan, Time Warner Cable will indeed sell you just local channels and HBO together — as long as you also rent a cable box — all for $47.99 a month, not including taxes, according to TWC’s customer service department. What appears to be new here is Comcast’s throwing in Internet service and offering the three services (local channels and HBO on any screen in the house, plus Internet connectivity) at a relatively lower price point. What else is likely new about it, as Les points out, is the advertising of the availability of this package to consumers.

    Chuck Ross

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