The company will sell bandwidth paired with TV antennas and subscriptions to Hulu and HBO Now.
Cable companies have long been the object of consumer ire. Thanks to regional monopolies, they’re often one of the only, if not the only, option for many to get pay-TV service as well as internet access. And for years now, they’ve abused that advantage, with regular price increases pushing TV bills into the stratosphere, and developing dismal reputations for customer service, all while doing relatively little to improve their core products, some of which haven’t evolved much in decades. It should come as no surprise that consumers have become fed up with these practices, changing their behavior in a way that has threatened the business model of these companies that have for so long been able to rest on their laurels. It’s quickly becoming apparent that the TV providers either need to get their act together, or go the way of travel agencies and newspapers.
While there’s not a lot of hope for the Comcasts and Time Warner Cables of the world, one cable company seems to have heeded the call to innovate and find ways to succeed in the new environment of the TV business, driven by consumer sensitivity to prices and the wider availability of cheap or free programming from the internet. Cablevision grabbed headlines earlier this year when it announced that it would sell HBO Now subscriptions to its broadband-only customers, making them the first cable company, and the only company other than Apple, to do so. In addition, the company has also rolled out low-cost and pay-TV-free service bundles aimed at cord-cutters. One offers 50 Mbps Internet speeds, a free HDTV antenna, and access to Cablevision WiFi hotspots, with the option to add HBO Now, starting at $50 a month. An even cheaper bundle features 5 Mbps speeds and a WiFi-based cellular service for just $40 a month. Now, in addition to HBO Now, Cablevision has announced that they will begin selling Hulu Plus subscriptions to their broadband subscribers as well.
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