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Charter Communications Plans to Introduce New Cable TV Packages, Including Sports-Lite Option
A New Approach to Cable TV
Charter Communications announced its plans to launch a new two-tier cable package system, offering customers a cheaper option without regional sports channels. This move comes as more people are cutting the cord and switching to streaming services, impacting sports channels and regional sports networks. By offering a sports-lite TV option, Charter aims to address the changing needs of customers while supporting sports networks that are pursuing streaming options.
Launching Two New Services
Charter's Spectrum-branded cable TV business will be relaunched with two new services: Spectrum Select Plus and Spectrum Select Signature. Spectrum Select Plus will include the provider's full slate of sports programming and regional sports networks, while Spectrum Select Signature will exclude certain sports programming for a reduced rate. Customers who choose the option with certain sports programming will receive free direct-to-consumer streaming apps for their local sports networks.
An Evolving Business Model
The new two-tier system gives sports fans what they want while providing non-sports viewers with a more affordable option. Charter recognizes the need for the business model of regional sports networks to evolve to reflect the realities of the current marketplace. As both a distributor and owner of regional sports networks, Charter is well-positioned to adapt and respond to the challenges that sports networks are facing.
New Distribution Agreement with DirecTV
Charter and DirecTV have also announced a new distribution agreement for regional sports networks. The deal includes a significantly lower penetration threshold, allowing DirecTV to target subscribers who want Lakers and Dodgers programming. This agreement will provide cheaper and more flexible options for customers who are not interested in sports. Charter's Spectrum Networks executive, Dan Finnerty, recognizes the shift in viewing habits but emphasizes that regular season sports programming remains popular.
In conclusion, Charter Communications is introducing a new cable TV package system, including a sports-lite option, to cater to changing customer preferences. By offering two tiers of services, Charter aims to give sports fans what they want while providing non-sports viewers with a more affordable option. The company's distribution agreement with DirecTV further supports this approach by allowing for targeting and flexibility. This new model reflects the evolving landscape of the sports media industry and gives customers more control over their viewing choices.
Hot Take: Opportunities and Challenges for a New Business
The introduction of Charter Communications' new cable TV packages, including a sports-lite option, presents both opportunities and challenges for a new business entering the industry.
On the one hand, the shift in customer preferences towards streaming services and the increasing number of cord-cutters signifies a growing market for more affordable cable TV options. By offering a sports-lite package, Charter aims to cater to non-sports viewers who are seeking cost-effective alternatives. This opens up an opportunity for a new business to target this segment of the market by focusing on providing tailored cable TV packages that align with evolving customer needs.
Furthermore, the distribution agreement between Charter and DirecTV for regional sports networks presents additional possibilities. With a lower penetration threshold, DirecTV can now target specific subscribers interested in particular sports programming, such as Lakers and Dodgers fans. This agreement can enable a new business to explore partnerships and alliances with regional sports networks, leveraging the flexibility and cheaper options provided by the agreement to attract sports enthusiasts.
However, it is important for a new business to consider the challenges in this industry. The evolution of the sports media landscape and the shifting viewing habits pose a challenge in understanding and predicting customer demands accurately. The need for regional sports networks to adapt and engage in streaming options adds complexity to the business model of cable TV providers. A new business entering this space needs to stay agile and responsive to changing trends while finding innovative ways to attract and retain customers.
In conclusion, the introduction of Charter Communications' new cable TV packages presents both opportunities and challenges for a new business. By capitalizing on the shifting market demands and leveraging partnerships with regional sports networks, a new business can carve out a niche in the evolving cable TV industry. However, it is crucial for such a business to stay adaptable and innovative to navigate the complexities and uncertainties of this dynamic market.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/10/charter-will-offer-a-cheaper-cable-tv-option-without-sports.html