WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone is picking up the pace on its transition away from traditional cable television toward IP-based video services.
WOW! has also partnered with virtual MVPDs, including Sling TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV and Philo. CEO Teresa Elder said the recent launch of WOW tv+ IPTV service in Columbus, Ohio is another example of the transformation. During the company’s earnings call this week, she said that WOW tv+ will use the company’s existing network more efficiently than cable TV.
WOW! is currently promoting third-party streaming services for its broadband subscribers in Charleston, South Carolina. Elder said that the company will be expanding the partnerships across its footprint in the next several months.
Elder said the services will drive better penetration for the WOW!’s high-speed data product, help with long-term reductions to operating expenses and “provide more efficient use of capital as we reclaim bandwidth on our network, ensuring that we have sufficient capacity to meet the multi-gig demands of the future.”
WOW! also expects to reach higher margins by eliminating some programming expenses and avoiding annual cost increases from content providers. As more WOW! customers shift from traditional linear TV to streaming alternatives, the company expects it will reduce 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,” Elder said.
WOW! said it’s now focused on making the transition happen as quickly as possible for customers who would rather have streaming services instead of traditional cable.
“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,” Elder said, adding that 66% of WOW!’s new subscribers are now opting for broadband service without bundling in traditional video.
WOW! ended the fourth quarter of 2019 with 781,500 high-speed data customers (up from 773,900 one quarter ago) and 373,800 video customers (down from 380,000 one quarter ago).