Charter reportedly is in discussions with cable networks about developing an inexpensive streaming offering, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The bundle, which would not include any major sports channels, would cost between $15 and $20 per month, and directly contradicts President and CEO Tom Rutledge's recent statements rejecting the idea of debuting an over-the-top video service.
That said, money talks. While Charter Communications doesn't want high-value service customers to choose a less revenue-generating OTT option, by shunning the market entirely Charter cuts itself off from those households uninterested in or unable to pay for traditional cable bundles.
This already appears to be happening: Last quarter, Charter lost about 100,000 video subscribers, according to its annual report. While most losses occurred in legacy Time Warner Cable markets, some subscribers dropped legacy Charter services, the company said.
Bolstering talk about Charter's potential OTT offering is recent news about the operator's pact with AMC Networks to distribute original AMC content. And Charter already has infrastructure in place to support OTT, the company said.
"Charter wants programmers to offer their content OTT. We have invested millions of dollars building an infrastructure that enables and encourages our customers to watch video online or OTT," the company said in a March 2016 SEC filing.
Charter declined to comment on the report, a spokesperson told Light Reading's Mari Silbey.
The cable operator, which recently finalized its acquisition of NewWave Communications, sees continued growth from high-speed data and business services powered by fiber-based ultra-broadband, executives told a financial conference this week.
During the first quarter of 2017, cable operators gained about 1 million subscribers in this period, while the top telephone companies lost approximately 45,000 subscribers, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.