What Bundling Options Are the Best Deals for Cable Subscribers?
Most customers enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping. Retail giants from 7-Eleven to Wal-Mart have made billions off the concept of giving a customer everything they could want under one roof. Television service providers have also capitalized on the idea by offering multiple services to their subscribers and billing for them on one monthly statement. This practice has enabled providers to offer more services and more channels, often at a lower price than if they offered them on an individual basis.
What is Bundling?
In the early years of the cable TV industry, bundling was the name given to the practice of offering a group of channels together, rather than allowing subscribers to pick and choose among the list of available channels. Today, with many TV service providers also offering telephone, internet and cellular services, the term bundling also includes the practice of giving customers these options as a part of their subscription package.
Basic Cable TV Service
The least expensive option for bundling customers is the basic cable TV package. This selection often includes some home telephone and broadband internet service, but contains a limited number of TV channels. Most basic cable TV packages include channels such as CNN, TNT, TBS, and ESPN, as well as local broadcast stations.
Premium Cable TV Service
For an additional premium surcharge, subscribers can add pay-cable channels to their package. Many customers prefer these packages, as they include award-winning programs from such channels as HBO, Showtime and Starz, as well as commercial-free movie channels likeCinemax and The Movie Channel. Other premium packages target sports fans, with channel listings that include networks dedicated to Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, NHL, golf, tennis, soccer, and college sports.
Broadband Internet Service
Television service providers have also become the primary source of broadband internet access in most homes around the U.S. These providers use the same technology to deliver high-speed internet connections that they employ to send hundreds of TV channels with clear picture and realistic sound. The speeds of these connections can vary by provider, transmission source, geographic region, and the medium used to sending the signal (e.g. digital cable, satellite, fiber optics, etc.).
Home and Mobile Phone Service
The lines between providers of television programming and telephone service have been all but eradicated. Companies such as AT&T and Verizon are providing their customers with bundles that include both home and mobile service along with their TV channels. For instance, users can access their AT&T television service through the AT&T app on their AT&T smartphones with their AT&T cellular signal and pay for all of these services on one AT&T monthly bill.
Customers who opt for bundling their services are not limited to watching only the channels listed in their program guides. Most services also include additional features in their bundles, such as high-definition (HD) channels, digital video recording (DVR), video on demand (VOD) and pay-per-view (PPV) events. The bundles also allow customers to select from a range of calling plans and broadband internet setups to meet their needs.
Although the practice of bundling has its detractors, the idea of providingmultiple services on one bill has appealed to millions of customers. Bundled packages of TV, internet and phone services have enabled customers to partake in one-stop shopping from their living rooms.