In what appears to be an attempt to keep customers frustrated with their cable bill or to woo back those who have canceled, Time Warner will begin testing a lower-cost package next week in New York City, reports the New York Times.
The test will offer a package called TV Essentials that costs roughly half of the cable operator’s current package and which includes ESPN News (but not ESPN); TBS (but not TNT); CNN (but not Fox News or MSNBC), the story notes.
The trial will begin in New York on Monday, with another in part of its Ohio market beginning on Dec. 15. The cost? $39.95 per month for New Yorkers and $29.95 for Ohioans, although the story doesn’t say why Time Warner is charging more for New Yorkers. Time Warner’s most common cable package now runs at $75 per month.
But one drawback for customers is that the lower-cost package isn’t available for double- or triple-play discounts, when cable is combined with Internet and/or phone service, so the strategy effectively means that Internet service will cost more for TV Essentials customers, it points out. The package also doesn’t include high-definition channels.