C Spire: Virtual MVPD service is ‘not OTT!’

Company reps take issue with the notion that C Spire's soon-to-be-launched virtual service, which will start out at $65 a month for 104 channels including local stations, is an over-the-top platform.

After quietly deploying a product website last week, Mississippi-based wireless operator C Spire said it plans to launch a virtual pay-TV service based on MobiTV’s white-label delivery platform “later this spring.”

A number of media and technology publications, including FierceCable, reported on the emergence of the website. C Spire responded by publishing a press release that essentially did nothing more than confirm that the platform is ready for launch. The website said the launch was coming in the next few weeks. 

“C Spire TV is in the final stages of beta testing and will launch later this spring with availability for customers of C Spire Fiber’s gigabit internet product,” C Spire said in a statement. 

RELATED: C Spire close to launching $65-a-month MobiTV-powered vMVPD service

While the press release revealed very little, if anything, that we didn’t already know, company reps took issue with the notion that the virtual service, which will start out at $65 a month for 104 channels including local stations, is an over-the-top platform. 

“It’s not over the top because we are delivering TV over a closed, secure network path,” C Spire spokesman Dave Miller told FierceCable in an email this morning. 

Indeed, the service is available only to subscribers of C Spire’s gigabit broadband service. 

According to the company’s website, the C Spire TV service will have two basic tiers: a $65-a-month service that features 104 channels, and an $85-a-month tier that includes 164 channels. Premium networks and sports channels are bundled as extras. 

The service includes a cloud DVR and can play on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku streaming boxes; Android and iOS mobile devices; and personal computers powered by Chrome, Safari or Firefox. 

C Spire is built on a virtual pay-TV platform developed by MobiTV that was originally announced back in July.

MobiTV hopes to license to plenty of other regional wireless companies that have no legacy pay-TV services to worry about and would like a low-cost way to get into the virtual MVPD business. 

“It’s about time TV evolved from cable’s ball and chain mentality rooted in a bygone era,” said Ashley Phillips, general manager of C Spire Home, in the statement.