by Todd Spangler
June 30, 2017
How many over-the-top streaming TV services can actually survive the stampede to deliver television over the internet?
Two more OTT streaming skinny-bundle options — both from traditional operators, Charter Communications and CenturyLink — debuted this week, with packages designed for consumers averse to paying for conventional pay TV.
The new services wade into an already crowded-to-the-brim OTT pool. Other internet TV players include AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Google’s YouTube TV, Hulu’s recently launched live TV bundle, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and FuboTV. In addition, Comcast is gearing up to launch its own Xfinity Instant TV suite of broadband-delivered TV services across its U.S. footprint in the third quarter of 2017. And Verizon may soon be in the mix as well.
However many of these will still be standing in a year or two remains to be seen — but the land-grab is on to stake out OTT turf.
Charter, which last year completed the acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, is testing out Spectrum Stream — with a baseline package that strips out sports networks. The service is priced at $20 per month for local broadcast channels including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, along with 25 cable channels including AMC, TNT, CNN, Discovery Channel, Food Network, Bravo, E!, FX, A&E and History. The lineup excludes sports networks like ESPN and NBCSN, although Charter is also offering a $12 add-on tier with sports and news nets.