Last week we wondered if a pay TV provider would offer an entertainment-only bundle and lo and behold, one has done so. Charter Communications, the nation’s second-largest pay TV provider behind Comcast, is offering a sports-free bundle of 25 entertainment channels for $19.95/month. This is a streaming service that is offered on iOS, Amazon and Android devices, Roku, Xbox One and Samsung smart TV’s.
The base package includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS as well A&E, AMC, Bravo, CNN, Discovery, FX and History along with various other networks. The base package does not include any ESPN network, none from Fox Sports, nothing from NBC Sports and zilch from CBS Sports.
Charter confirmed that it was testing the entertainment-only bundle under its Spectrum brand:
“We are testing Spectrum Stream, an IP delivered in-home Cable TV product with traditional TV everywhere out-of-home streaming, to a group of prequalified and current Spectrum Internet customers to see if this smaller package resonates with a certain segment of non-video customers. It includes local broadcast channels, 25 popular cable networks and access to thousands of On Demand choices — along with options for additional news, sports and premium channels — delivered to connected and mobile devices, without requiring a set-top box.”
In addition, the base offers a library of nearly 5,000 on-demand titles and provides the subscriber access to TV Everywhere meaning he or she can stream live TV outside of the home. There’s a premium package which is $15 more with an on-demand library of more than 10,000 titles and access to premium channels like HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Showtime and Starz.
Should you want sports, you can get it for $12 per month extra that includes ESPN, NBCSN, ESPN2 and various news channels.
Charter offered a different version of Spectrum Stream back in 2015 with a base package o $12.99 on Roku platforms.
Other providers are also experimenting with skinny or slimmer bundles of their own, some with or without sports. We’ll see if one sticks out from the pack in the coming months.