In the mode of competitors like AT&T’s WatchTV and Philo, Charter is planning a $15 per month TV channel package that will focus on entertainment cable networks.
Spectrum TV Essentials will feature more than 60 live TV channels from network groups including Viacom, Discovery, A&E, AMC and Hallmark. The package will not include major broadcast networks or their affiliated cable channels and regional sports networks.
The service is launching by the end of March 2019 and will be available exclusively to Charter’s Spectrum Internet customers who don’t subscriber to the full-price Spectrum TV product. Charter is making TV Essentials available through the Spectrum TV app, which works on iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Smart TVs and computers via SpectrumTV.com.
TV Essentials customers will have access to the networks’ corresponding on-demand content. Charter said that it will be adding a cloud DVR service to the Spectrum TV app in the coming months.
"As we began to assemble the rights for this new video service, we received great enthusiasm and encouragement from these key programming partners, who share our view and embrace creating an innovative video offering we believe will resonate with our internet customers. Notably, Viacom shared its strong belief and research that suggests there is a large untapped opportunity for a low-priced, entertainment-only bundle unencumbered by the high cost of broadcast retransmission consent fees and expensive sports programming,” said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO at Charter, in a statement.
Indeed, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, in a statement, said that offering a “lower priced option for internet-only subscribers is very important.”
The full lineup includes: 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.
Charter is also including its Spectrum News in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, Charlotte, Orlando and other markets, and will throw in Spectrum Originals beginning in May 2019.