Potentially a move to undercut the popularity of Netflix in the United States, DSLReports has noted that Comcast launched a new service bundle that combines broadband Internet service, basic cable and a HBO subscription for approximately $40 to $50 a month depending on location. Called the “Internet Plus” package, the broadband service provides download speeds up to 25 Mbps and Comcast also includes access to the XFINITY Streampix, a service that streams both televisions shows and movies similar to Netflix.
Getting closer to an a la carte future of picking channels rather than being forced into a bundle, this is easily one of the least expensive monthly cable bundles that includes a premium channel package. Alternatively, the cheapest option for Internet-only service at 25 Mbps speeds starts at $30 to $40 depending on location. Hypothetically, a cord cutter can justify the additional $10 a month since it provides access to at least 45 basic cable channels and HBO. Subscribers will also be able to access the HBO GO streaming video application on home theater, gaming and mobile devices.
One downside to the package is that the price is limited to a twelve-month period. After the promotional period is up, the package shifts to $70 per month for service. At this point, it’s unlikely that cord cutters would continue subscribing to the service and may attempt to leverage Comcast’s retention department to extend the promotion for an additional year. In addition to attracting cord cutters back to cable, it’s likely that Comcast will use this package as a stepping stone for new subscribers to upgrade to more expensive plans in the future with greater broadband speeds and expanded channel lineups.
During September, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told investors that he was interested in investigating a similar type of package that bundled broadband Internet service with HBO. However, the company hasn’t announced any type of plan that bundles the two services together as of yet.