Cord-cutters have managed to managed to convince Comcast’s to cut into its own package prices. In recent years, Comcast has raised its cable TV prices to compete with the growing number of streaming services, but things appear to be changing a little going into 2020. In a world where more and more consumers have to budget for the growing supply of streaming services, something has to give. Enter Comcast's new packaging options.
Comcast is finally readying to take prices in a direction that many will undoubtedly rejoice over, at least anyone who hasn't already joined the exodus of cord-cutters that picked up steam in recent years. According to Cord Cutter News, Comcast will begin offering smaller TV packages branded as Choice, with varying tiers. How much will your “choice” cost you?
Starting in 2020, Comcast will reportedly offer their Choice package at a cost that ranges between $10 and $20. As its title suggests, costumers will get to choose which channels they want (within reason) as they customize their own TV bundle. The basic package is double the price of Apple TV+, at five bucks a month, and also a few dollars more than Disney+ subscriptions, which cost subscribers $6.99 a month, respectively. You gotta love competitive pricing!
Beyond the a la cart channel options, Comcast will reportedly also offer preselected news and entertainment packages, with another add-on available for local TV channels. Like any good drama, there is a plot twist, of course. The cost of these Comcast packages will not include regular equipment fees, such as DVR. So, on the surface, it sounds like a great deal, but a situation that could quickly add up to more than consumers are ready for, in the same way that joining multiple streaming services doesn't take long to add up.
Trying to get out from under the crushing expense of cable is what largely contributed to the cord-cutting movement. Many consumers’ goals have been to reduce costs by paying for what they definitely watch, while cutting out the content and networks they do not.
For those that feel like they are paying for channels they do not watch, Comcast’s solution should have an allure. It comes as cord-cutters are being inundated with new and hyped-up choices that are gradually expanding their monthly entertainment expenses. Disney+ and AppleTV+ joined the streaming scene in 2019, providing competition to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Netflix managed to get through Disney+’s initial launch window fairly unscathed. However, consumers (and Netflix) will be faced with more streaming platforms in 2020.
Comcast will be rolling out its new packages in 2020 as well, but it's not clear whether things will debut before the releases of NBC's Peacock and HBO Max, which are both set to launch next year. The latter will be bringing Friends and long-running hit The Big Bang Theory with it, while Peacock has a Saved by the Bell revival and more on the way.
Will current cord-cutters return to cable and satellite due to Comcast selling cheaper packages? Or will people save that money to spend on HBO Max and other upcoming streamers? It is a million-dollar question that the power player certainly hopes is “yes.” Creating cheaper options is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, in my opinion.
So far, I think the strategy has been sticking faithful consumers with higher bills, so here's hoping this shakes things up. For those planning to potentially re-up or join Comcast, there is a lot of television to look forward to (including Will & Grace) thanks to this winter’s premieres.