Charter To Start Low-Cost OTT Service

Joining the march of internet-delivered services of live, linear TV networks, cable system operator Charter Communications is starting up a low-cost service called Spectrum TV Essentials.

The $14.99 service will include more than 60 live, linear TV networks from Viacom, Discovery, A+E Networks, AMC Networks and Hallmark.

Charter says it will be available exclusively in Charter’s cable operator’s footprint for consumers who do not subscribe to Charter’s traditional Spectrum cable systems services.

The entire TV Essentials lineup will be available through the Spectrum TV app on all supported mobile and connected devices: iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Smart TVs and desktop computers via SpectrumTV.com.

“Spectrum TV Essentials is an OTT offering designed to provide Spectrum Internet-only customers a new low-price, high-value video option,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said.

In the coming months, Charter plans to introduce a Cloud DVR service on the Spectrum TV App.

Charter’s efforts come just after NBCUniversal said it would be launching an advertising-supported and advertising-free direct-to-consumer streaming services.

Comcast Cable and Sky plc, the European TV broadcaster Comcast recently acquired, will provide the service to 52 million U.S. and global subscribers. An ad-free version will be available for a fee.

TV Essentials will join other internet-delivered services of live, linear TV networks, such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, fuboTV, YouTube TV and Philo.

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