Sezmi shuts down top-tier service in L.A.

Late last week, Sezmi, a low-cost, multichannel service that promised to “challenge the status quo in home entertainment and bring a new level of innovation to the television viewing experience at the most affordable price,” turned off its “Select Plus” tier of service of 23 cable networks delivered via leased broadcast digital spectrum in the Los Angeles market. At $20 a month, Select Plus tier was shut down on Dec. 28 due to an apparent lack of consumer adoption.

Going forward, Sezmi said it would focus on its “Select” service, which includes local broadcast signals and access to online video via a “personalized” interface and DVR for just $4.95 per month. Sezmi said it plans to enhance the Select service “through new features and a partnership.”

The company is now offering the Select service in 36 U.S. markets. Subscribers must first buy a special set-top DVR with user interface software and a TV antenna. Best Buy is selling the unit for $149. As a private company, Sezmi has never announced how many subscribers it has.

Despite the change in strategy, the company said it will “stay true to our vision of delivering a compelling alternative to traditional cable and satellite services.”

To provide the Select service, Sezmi has leased digital spectrum from several stations in Los Angeles. KDOC-TV — in an FCC filing — said it received more than $900,000 from Sezmi in the one-year period ending Nov. 30, 2010.