Comcast quietly rolled out a new bundle package around the country that features internet, on-demand services and HBO, but no cable channels.
The “Internet Plus” package is being offered for $39.99 a month in Chicago and offers (up to) 25 Mbps download speeds, local channels available through broadcast signals (think ABC, WGN, CBS, etc.) and Comcast’s Xfinity Streampix service – Comcast’s answer to Netflix.
Oh, and HBO.
HBO has long been weary of directly selling users their content, instead opting to bundle their channel and internet streaming through cable providers. While this isn’t exactly direct access to HBO, it’s certainly a step in that direction.
It’s an opportunity that could appeal to a group of people who deem themselves ‘cord cutters’ – those looking to ditch pricey cable TV packages in favor of internet streaming. They’re a minor but increasingly vocal group who are frustrated by high prices for TV channels they don’t watch.
CNET reports a recent JP Morgan study found 40 percent of U.S. households would consider canceling TV subscriptions.
Beyond digital streaming, another bullet point broached by cable cutters is the idea of cable ala carte – only paying for the channels they want to watch. Earlier this year, The Atlantic explored how this could actually drive prices up.
It’s worth noting that the $40-per-month price jumps up to $70 after a year. For comparison’s sake, Comcast’s internet-only option is $50-per-month and features only 6 Mbps download speeds.