Attention all “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” fans!
Cable companies can be a huge hassle to deal with. In order to get certain premium channels, companies like to bundle them up with channels that you may not have any interest in. And because you’re getting such an “excellent deal” they choose to charge your more than the package is worth. Many people that get cable just can’t afford to also pay for the premium channels. Well, Comcast and HBO have been listening to your pleas and now, if you’re living in certain markets, you can try a whole new package called “Internet Plus” that includes broadcast television, video-on-demand, HBO, HBO Go, 20-25Mbps broadband internet, and access to Streampix, Comcast’s (sort of) answer to Netflix for as low as $39.99 for the first year.
“The bundle is priced at $39.99 or $49.99 per month for 12 months (depending on market), which is $15 less than the starting price for bundles with Comcast’s expanded basic cable lineups. The price goes up to $69.95 monthly after the first year. The limited-time offer is being promoted across Comcast’s footprint to new residential customers, but may not be available in certain areas.”
Raising the price after a year is basically a given, but the point is to try and see if you would like to keep the package after you’ve had it for a year. Besides, it’s still cheaper than the $100-150 price tag that people have to pay for their service when including HBO.
It’s the first time a pay-TV distributor is marketing HBO as a standalone service, divorced from other cabler programming packages. Also notable is that the Internet Plus promo leads with broadband as the primary service, and touts any-screen access to TV shows — a pitch that appears to be aimed at preventing broadband-only subs from cutting the TV cord.
Comcast insiders insist the marketing offer, which expires next Jan. 31 in some markets and July 31 in others, is just a trial and doesn’t presage a move toward pure a la carte. Indeed, part of the strategy is aimed at upgrading subscribers to cable TV tiers down the line.
So, while it’s not exactly saying that this is going to be a permanent thing, it’s a very important first step at changing the Pay TV landscape. As television begins to see a slow phase out into digital territory, this is certainly a positive step into recruiting people to your brand. Netflix recently surpassed HBO in subscribers, so the effects have certainly shaken up a company that not even a year ago said they would never offer HBO Go a la carte.
This is certainly good news for anybody looking to catch up on “Game of Thrones” before the start of Season 4 or anybody anticipating the incredible-looking series “True Detective” starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
To read more visit Variety.