Sezmi says 'so long' to 'Select Plus' cable offering

Hybrid TV service provider Sezmi says a lack of interest from consumers and an accelerating online video environment are the reasons behind its decision to discontinue offering a bundle of linear cable channels along with its standard broadcast/Internet product.

The company said in an email to FierceIPTV that at the end of this month its $19.99 "Select Plus" offering, which included 23 cable channels, will no longer be offered.

"Rather than pursue the more traditional bundled cable programming model represented by Select Plus, Sezmi will focus on further developing its Select offering to make more programming available to consumers through new features and partnerships it will announce in 2011," the company said.

The Sezmi Select Plus packaged was offered on a limited basis is some area of Los Angeles, although its standard package is available in 36 U.S. markets for $4.99 a month. The service requires that customers purchase a special antenna and a 1TB DVR from Sezmi for $150, and that they have a high-speed Internet connection.

Sezmi says it will continue expanding the Select service, saying in a letter to existing customers:

Sezmi will continue to remain focused on bringing you unprecedented value and personalization for your television experience.   We will remain the best TV service and platform that brings the world of live broadcast television together with DVR, Internet and on demand services in a simple and affordable package. And we'll stay true to our vision of delivering a compelling alternative to traditional cable and satellite services.

Sezmi said it also will continue to expand internationally; the company was part of a quad-play in Malaysia in October, and CEO Buno Pati told FierceIPTV that it would focus more efforts of Asia and Latin America, where the legacy structure was less established than in the U.S., making it easier to do business.

"In the U.S., what we find ourselves doing is weaving in and out of the legacy structure that exists; you try to fit yourself into that legacy system and business model," he said. The deal in Malaysia, and in many less-developed areas of the world, fits Sezmi's play perfectly, allowing it to really show what it's capable of doing, he said.

In September, Sezmi landed $17.3 million in funding, bringing its total to $93 million since its inception.

For more:
- see this letter from Sezmi

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