More OTT Services Now Available to Internet Users

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Charter Communications®, who offers the best cable deals to its customers, recently announced that they are now planning to launch a new OTT service for their internet users. Named Spectrum® TV Essentials, the video streaming service will be offering live as well as On Demand content from various entertainment and news networks. Reports say that the service would be priced at $15 a month, and will not contain any sports channels.

TV programming from the most popular networks including Discovery, A+E Networks, Viacom, Crown Media, and AMC Networks would be offered in the OTT service at the start. Executives from Charter Communications® said that users would also be able to access Spectrum® Originals via the streaming service from May onward. Although sports channels are not included in the pack, which is often referred to as the “most lucrative deal” in OTT services, the Telco giant is confident that the Spectrum® TV Essentials service would be able to perform in the market just fine.

“Spectrum® TV Essentials is an OTT offering designed to provide Spectrum® Internet-only customers a new low-price, high-value video option,” the CEO of Charter Communications®, Tom Rutledge, said. “As we began to assemble the rights for this new video service, we received great enthusiasm and encouragement from these key programming partners, who share our view and embrace creating an innovative video offering we believe will resonate with our internet customers. Notably, Viacom shared its strong belief and research that suggests there is a large untapped opportunity for a low-priced, entertainment-only bundle unencumbered by the high cost of broadcast retransmission consent fees and expensive sports programming.”

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In a day when all telecom companies are fighting to keep their pay TV subscribers as well as get to new customers with the best cable deals and offers, such a bold move by Charter Communications® to skip sports channels comes as a surprise to many. CEO Tom Rutledge is, however, very optimistic about their partnership with Viacom, and believes that the collaboration is sure to bring forth good results.

“We’re thrilled to expand and deepen our relationship with Charter®. They share both our commitment to the evolution of the pay TV ecosystem as well as our understanding of the changing needs of consumers,” the President and CEO of Viacom, Bob Bakish, said. “As the video marketplace continues to segment across price points and offerings, we believe a high quality, lower priced option for internet-only subscribers is very important. We’re excited to have our global brands as part of Spectrum® TV Essentials at launch.”

Telco giants like Comcast® and AT&T® have started offering “skinny” packages too to overcome their subscriber loss, as OTT services are growing steadily in the US market. Only time will tell how Spectrum® TV Essentials fares against the likes of Hulu, YouTube TV and Netflix.

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