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Time Warner Cable CEO Upbeat on Streaming TV Service Trial

28 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

TWC CEO Rob Marcus

Time Warner Cable continues to test in New York City a broadband-enabled video platform that would enable subscribers to access programming without a set-top box. Characterized by CEO Rob Marcus as “foreshadowing the video product of the future,” the IPTV service wouldn’t emulate Dish Network’s $20 monthly Sling TV or Charter’s Spectrum TV Plus, as much as it would lower costs delivering pay-TV to consumers.

“[It] represents kind of the first stage of a potential substitutional service, which would enable customers to enjoy our video service without leasing a set-top box,” Marcus said on the company's Jan. 28 fiscal call.

Specifically, the executive said subscribers would use their own router and related equipment (i.e. Roku streaming media device) to access the service.

“It really is designed to be an alternative to our traditional set-top box-based video product … and [distribute] our video product through a device [a consumer] might otherwise own already or that they might go out and purchase themselves. One of the reasons why we're doing the trial is to understand exactly how interesting this is to customers.”

Indeed, with online video requiring high-speed Internet, the No. 2 cabler added 1 million broadband subscribers in 2015 — the cabler’s largest high-speed Internet growth in 10 years. In addition, TWC has been rolling out TWC Maxx, broadband service capable of delivering 300 megabits per second streaming speed.

TWC is also expanding TWC TV, its TV Everywhere app that affords pay-TV subscribers access to live and on-demand content in-and-out of the home on portable media devices. To date, about 10% of the cabler’s 10.8 million subscribers use the TWC TV.

“It's starting to get good traction and certainly adds to the value proposition,” Marcus said.

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