WideOpenWest has confirmed that WOW! tv+ is still available as part of its product portfolio even though the IPTV service no longer appears on the company’s website.
The company announced WOW! tv+ in March and began testing out the Android TV-based service in Columbus, Ohio. In May, it added Cleveland and mid-Michigan to the list of markets with WOW! tv+. However, all three of the WOW! website landing pages for those markets now feature no mention of the product and only direct customers to a “Streaming TV” tab where the choices include YouTube TV, fuboTV, Sling TV and Philo.
“WOW! tv+ is an important choice we offer customers and we're committed to continuing to introduce it in markets across our footprint,” the company said in a statement. “Consumer behavior shows us they want the ease and flexibility of an HSD Only service. We've designed our marketing, including the offerings we showcase on wowway.com, to fulfill that desire.”
In February, WOW! began a trial in Charleston, South Carolina to offer its broadband customers there a choice between Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV and Philo. Now it appears those options are available in all the operator’s 19 markets which include cities in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.
By selling third-party streaming services, WOW! can expand its margins by eliminating some programming expenses, avoiding annual cost increases from content providers and reducing operational costs through fewer calls to its customer service representatives and fewer truck rolls for in-home service repairs.
“Further, we expect to become more capital efficient as a result of shorter time for installation and the elimination of legacy video customer premises equipment,” WOW CEO Teresa Elder said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. “We have an advanced network that we’re able to leverage and we welcome the de-emphasis of linear video across the industry and how that will benefit WOW! as well as our customers.” She added that 66% of WOW!’s new subscribers are now opting for broadband service without bundling in traditional video.