STAMFORD, Conn.—Another OTT streaming service is entering the fray, but this one from Charter Communications will only be available to Spectrum internet customers that don’t subscribe to Spectrum video services. Spectrum TV Essentials will launch by the end of March and feature more than 60 live channels, as well as access to the channel’s On Demand content, for $14.99 a month.
“Spectrum TV Essentials is an OTT offering designed to provide Spectrum internet-only customers a new low-price, high-value video option,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter chairman and CEO in a press release.
TV Essentials’ offerings will focus on lifestyle, entertainment and news, but be essentially sports-free. The entire line-up will be available through the Spectrum TV app on all supported mobile and connected devices—this includes iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Smart TVs and computers through SpectrumTV.com. Through the app, viewers can browse shows and movies by category or network, create a “Watch List” of favorite content, set parental controls and in the coming months Charter will introduce a Cloud DVR service on the app.
In developing TV Essentials, Charter came to agreements with programming partners Viacom, Discovery, A&E, AMC and Hallmark. Through those agreements, TV essentials will have the following networks available: A&E, AMC, American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, BET Jams, BET Soul, Bloomberg, Cheddar, CLEO TV, CMT, CMT Music, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HDNet Movies, HGTV, HISTORY, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Logo, MotorTrend Network, MTV, MTV2, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTVU, NewsmaxTV, Newsy, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Music, NickToons, Outdoor Channel, OWN, Paramount Network, Science Channel, Sundance TV, Teen Nick, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, VH1, Viceland, The Weather Channel and WEtv.
Spectrum News will be included in the lineup in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Orlando, Fla., and other markets. Spectrum Originals will be available through the service starting in May.
This is the latest effort for the cable industry to bring back pay TV subscribers. Recently, Comcast has announced it is developing a direct-to-consumer streaming platform; AT&T, which already has DirecTV Now and AT&T Watch, is planning a direct-to-consumer service for sometime in 2019. These are in addition to other streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, fuboTV and others.