TWC unveils IP-only NYC test service: It's a skinny bundle after all

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) has unveiled the specifics on the new IP-only service it's testing in the New York market.

In a promotional flyer obtained by the blog Cord Cutter News, TWC touts three tiers. "Starter TV" includes "20+ channels" for $10 a month. A second $20-a-month Starter TV tier adds Showtime and Starz. Meanwhile, the $70-a-month "Standard TV" package includes more than 70 channels, plus premium networks Showtime and Starz. 

All three packages come with a Roku 3 device.

A TWC rep informed FierceCable that the three packages being offered in the IP-only test are also available in standard set-top form. 

In discussions with investors, TWC Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus dismissed the notion that the IP service represents his company's attempt at skinny bundling. In fact, he described it as merely an IP version of the full 300-plus-network bundle TWC distributes though its traditional cable service. 

"As we move forward and what we're trialing with this beta in New York, we're going to move that TWC TV capability toward a full video offering that, in fact, could be substitutional for the traditional set-top box-based video product," Marcus told investors in November. "And where we're headed is the ability of customers to access the complete video product without having to rent a set-top box from us, whether they use a Roku or they use ultimately another IP enabled-device.

"You can simply type in your username and password, and you have video," Marcus added. "And that's certainly a good guy in terms of the economics of doing the business. It's certainly a less capital-intensive model, in that customers will likely bring their own devices. And that will reduce the CPE capital requirements for us."

For more:
- read this Cord Cutters News story

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This article was updated on January 22 after TWC said that the three programming packages offered in the NYC streaming test are also available as standard cable bundles.