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Cox Playing With Discount TV Tier
Launches 'TV Economy' Tier in Select Markets
by Karl Bode 02:40PM Tuesday Jan 24 2012
Over the last year cable operators have paid a lot of lip service to families that are struggling financially, but has stubbornly refused to compete on price. That's thanks in part to the fact that despite complaining a lot about price hikes, many families continue to shell out the cash for TV service. Companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have rolled out some new discount tiers, but they fail to offer real value, given they can't be bundled, lack many standard channels, and can't be used with a DVR. In other words, it's a way for the companies to say they're addressing the growing annoyance at cable prices without actually doing so.

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Cox Communications is now jumping into the mix. According to a letter (pdf) obtained by Fierce Cable, Cox is quietly rolling out a discount TV tier called "TV Economy" in parts of New England, Louisiana, Virginia and San Diego. Obviously the biggest cost savings on this bundle comes from pulling the most costly cable channel to operators out of the lineup: ESPN.

At first glimpse at the new tier's website, there doesn't appear to be the same restrictions we've seen from other tiers of this type, but if you notice any, please tell your fellow users in the comment section below.

"The TV Economy package was initially introduced as a trial offer in certain markets and was not a permanent part of Cox's standard tiers of service. Cox is now adding TV Economy as one of our standard service offerings as part of our continued effort to provide a variety of options that serve our customers' needs and suit their budgets," says Cox.

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amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

not a bad looking deal

Looks like they yanked the ESPN channels. Bold move. I'd bet they snag a good chunk of subscribers with this.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: not a bad looking deal

said by amungus:

Looks like they yanked the ESPN channels. Bold move. I'd bet they snag a good chunk of subscribers with this.

ESPN & ESPN2 cost an arm and a leg from Disney for the cable companies. If you offer an economy tier, these channels can't be included.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
said by amungus:

Looks like they yanked the ESPN channels. Bold move. I'd bet they snag a good chunk of subscribers with this.

I'd LOVE to see a DirecTV tier with none of the ESPN sports channels, or Disney for that matter. I'd like to drop another $10.00 a month off my monthly bill.
ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE

Re: not a bad looking deal

I'd say it would be closer to $20 off

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by newview:

said by amungus:

Looks like they yanked the ESPN channels. Bold move. I'd bet they snag a good chunk of subscribers with this.

I'd LOVE to see a DirecTV tier with none of the ESPN sports channels, or Disney for that matter. I'd like to drop another $10.00 a month off my monthly bill.

ABC Family, A&E, ESPN, ESPN2 are all Disney channels not included in the economy tier. That could easily amount to $10/mo.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/

amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
That's why I see this as a bold move. Pretty sure Dish has a couple similar plans (without ESPN), but they lack some other channels that are somewhat worthwhile...

If Cox pulls this off with any level of success, and I am betting they will, it might not be long before other TV providers follow suit and show that ESPN etc. is not something that *everyone* wants on their "standard" lineup of channels.

In the end, and I've said this before, it should balance out well enough for all parties - the customer, the provider, and the channel(s) as long as it's well executed.

This looks like a promising start. Cox stands to gain more customers on basic or zero TV service, ESPN will have its hardcore supporters, and the average customer wins a small victory in some amount of choice over their package deal/price.

delusion ftl

@comcast.net
I still like my idea of ala carte channels paid for on a usage basis. By default only free OTA channels are available. Pick any additional channel for a dollar (or more or less) per 30 days.
Maybe decide you want to watch ESPN that month, simply turn to that channel put in your pin to authorize and your account is dinged a buck or two. Nephews coming into town for the weekend, enable Disney or nickelodeon for 30 days for a couple bucks. Next month don't worry about it. If there are channels you want auto billed every month then you can add them or remove them from a web portal whenever you want.

Now as a cable company you want to connect EVERYONE, maybe even give them one of those free cheap cable boxes. If you have a customer that doesn't have credit, then put their box on credit card only. No more hard disconnects, no more soft disconnects, simply you have made your goods available in 100% of your footprint. They now all have the ability to pay you money easily. And they will. They are at work and hear someone talk about a new hbo series, they go home, enable that channel for 30 days for a few dollars and see if they like it.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: not a bad looking deal

said by delusion ftl :

I still like my idea of ala carte channels paid for on a usage basis. By default only free OTA channels are available. Pick any additional channel for a dollar (or more or less) per 30 days.

Maybe decide you want to watch ESPN that month, simply turn to that channel put in your pin to authorize and your account is dinged a buck or two. Nephews coming into town for the weekend, enable Disney or nickelodeon for 30 days for a couple bucks. Next month don't worry about it. If there are channels you want auto billed every month then you can add them or remove them from a web portal whenever you want.

Interesting idea that the content providers will NEVER agree to. You think Disney would ever sign a contract with a cable company that agreed to a plan like that. And as far as I know, no regulatory agency can make the content providers agree to such a plan. It would need the Congress to start regulating Hollywood thru new laws and the President to agree and sign the laws. Both are too beholden to Hollywood money to ever let it happen.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Hence pretty useless. So this is non-news.

wallywalters

@sbcglobal.net

Even better

I want to be able to make my own tier -- to pick two dozen channels of MY choosing (which are all I ever really watch) for $20 per month. I'm tired of paying another $40 per month for an extra 180 channels I don't care about.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

FAIL

nuff said

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

Cool

Any package without ESPN would get me interested (but I'm not in a Cox area, so...).
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Basic cable

Sounds like basic cable. I cant see the difference between this and basic cable.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

Re: Basic cable

"Basic" generally refers to the bare minimum - locals + a few extras. Anything past that is generally "Expanded" or some other term.

This is in-between as it does not include a few notable channels that are usually included in the "expanded" list - namely, ESPN, Sci-fi (I refuse to call it what they do now...), and a couple others.

The price is therefore $10-$20 cheaper than "expanded" service, as ESPN etc. account for a good chunk of the cost for such a package.

Depending on the market, and how you look at it, you end up saving either that amount, or, paying a small bit more for a ton more channels, as long as you don't care about ESPN.

Fubar16

join:2001-02-20
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:2

Available in AZ as well...

Friend told me about it. He called to cancel and they offered it to him.
PinkyThePig
Premium
join:2011-05-02
Tempe, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

Seriously tempting

From what I can gather it costs 35 a month and it contains all but 3 channels I like. I'll have to keep an eye on this and it may be the first time I have had cable TV in over 3 years. But on the other hand simply the thought of having to deal with any people in sales/tech support gives me nightmares (I've never talked to a cox rep who knew what they were talking about besides the ones that reside on these forums).
Methadras

join:2004-05-26
Spring Valley, CA

San Diego test trial

I'm in san diego and I'm a cox customer. I'll take it if they don't offer espn and it's cheaper. I get my sports news from the web anyway.