Tired of paying high cable TV bills, even though you only watch a handful of channels?
One cable company has heard your complaints loud and clear, and has decided to test out a new “skinny” streaming bundle for only $20.
Cord Cutters Leading To Cable Streaming Options
Cable and satellite companies continue to look for more ways to hold onto subscribers in the cord-cutting era.
People these days often decide to “cut the cord” on traditional pay TV in favor of either local-only stations or streaming just the stations they want.
Research shows that pay TV providers lost nearly two million households between 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, in the same time frame, Netflix subscriber numbers jumped 20 percent.
Plus, Amazon saw a 40 percent rise and Hulu noted a 45 percent increase in their subscribers.
Gadgets such as the Amazon Fire stick, Apple TV, Roku and even video game consoles make streaming affordable and easy for viewers.
So Charter Communications decided to test Stream, which can be accessed through the Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Charter Communications created Spectrum TV Stream, an option that includes 25 popular cable channels and local broadcast stations.
“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,” a Charter rep said in a statement emailed to Variety.
So, it’s not available to all customers just yet, since Charter is just testing this service.
Cable stations in the package include:
- Animal Planet
- Discovery Channel
- Food Network
- Hallmark Channel
- History Channel
- National Geographic
- USA and more
Sports lovers may notice no channels dedicated to their favorite pastime. Not even ESPN.
Stream subscribers can opt for a $12 add-on package.
This will include the ESPN channels, NBC Sports and more.
If you like movie channels, it looks like Spectrum Stream has another option for you.
For an additional $15 each month, viewers get HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz and StarzEncore.
Or if you don’t need all of them, pick and choose the ones you want for $7.50 each month.
The price stays the same for three years.
Spectrum Stream subscribers also get 5,000 free on-demand titles, and access to many network apps, with their login credentials.
As of now, only select regions have the option to purchase this new package.
You also must have Spectrum internet services to participate.
However, Charter Communications says it plans to expand its offerings soon.
Could This Be The Future Of TV?
Other traditional pay TV providers, such as CenturyLink, Comcast Dish Network and DirecTV are creating their own new packages to compete for cord cutters.
After years of digging in their heels over offering only large bundles, it seems like pay TV companies recognize that upping their competitive game is essential to winning consumers.
Just remember: When you’re customizing your bundle, all those extra add-on channels can add up.
Make sure you do the math to see if it’s actually cheaper to pay for a regular cable package.