Charter is testing out a new service called Spectrum Stream for a select group of its existing customer base that only subscribes to internet services. The hope is that it will be able to entice these customers with the promise of local channels and popular cable channels, while at the same time bolstering its bottom line.
In this case, the new Spectrum Stream skinny bundle includes 25 live channels that can be streamed via your mobile devices or via a device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV. According to an email that is being sent to customers, local programming (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) will be available in addition to channels like PBS, CNN, Food Network, TNT, AMC USA and FX.
Spectrum Stream is being offered for $19.95 per month, and it is able to hit that relatively low price point by not including any standard sports channels. If you want to add live sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2 and NBC Sports, you’ll have to fork over $12 extra per month. If you want to go full tilt by adding premium channels like HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz and Starz Encore, that will bump the price up by an additional $15.
So, if you add up the $20 for the base service, $15 for premium channels and $12 for sports, you’re looking at $47. Add that to the cost of your base internet service and you might be questioning the service’s value compared to popular triple play options (which can run $90 to $100 per month before numerous fees and taxes are tacked on depending on your provider).
However, if you just want the base package, this could offer a compelling compromise for cord cutters. For comparison, Hulu Live TV offers 50 channels and Cloud DVR for $40 per month (and includes ESPN), while Sling TV (Blue) offers 44 channels for $25 per month.