While not declaring his MSO's trials in New York of IP-based pay-TV services an outright success, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus reported a mostly positive review during his company's last earnings call as a stand-alone company Thursday.
"While it's too early to draw quantitative conclusions from our New York City IPTV trial, the early feedback is encouraging," Marcus said. "Customers liked the offering and really appreciate that we're attuned to what they're looking for."
Asked to expound upon that statement by media investment analyst Ben Swinburne, Marcus added that the streaming service represents "where the world is headed" in terms of "allowing customers to experience our products without necessarily leasing CPE from us."
"I think that's just one example of an overriding trend which is that our industry is increasingly following the consumer," he said. "I think in the past we were much less responsive to what consumers wanted…And it's I think where the industry is going."
With Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) largely having cleared its regulatory barriers to buy TWC, and a merger mere weeks away from consummating, it's unclear as to what end TWC's IP trials serve. Charter said it will begin converting TWC's pricing and packaging to its Spectrum brand soon after the merger closes.
"I'm excited about delivering video and IP," Marcus said. "I think it promises a much more customer-friendly experience, which avoids many of the pain points that have historically marked our business. But I think that's just one example, and I have no doubt that with very smart people at the helms of the major cable companies, there are going to be a lot of other innovations along those lines."
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