- TWC New "Cheaper Alternative" Package a Farce
Since the days when larger than life charlatans used oratory skills to peddle snake oil, salesman have used a variety of verbal hacks and insinuations to make consumers believe and subsequently buy. In this struggling economy, the modern day scheme is to make promises of cheaper alternatives in an effort to seem sympathetic to the consumer plight. Yet often times these alternatives offer little savings in exchange for a titanic loss of value. A similar deal has been offered by Time Warner Cable, whose new "Essentials" package promises to trim the fat off their bloated bundles by offering only 50 essential channels at a more affordable price.
On the surface, this cheaper packaging seems to be a copycat response to DIRECTV's recent move to more affordable packaging. However, unlike DIRECTV's new basic tier, Time Warner Cable's package does not include mainstay programming like ESPN. In fact, the 50 channels that Time Warner Cable has deemed "essential" are hardly that, and many customers excited about the plan will find themselves disappointed at what is basically a farce of a package, sold at a price point that is basically irrelevant. Many customers who have already made the switch are presently irate over this fallacious package, creating another Time Warner dispute
in what has been a year of controversy. Earlier this year, the same consumers were unable to watch local stations and premium programming when a Time Warner dispute with local broadcasters resulted in a retransmission feud that recently went before Congress.
In fact, it is the recent government intervention in the Time Warner dispute that may be the catalyst for this new package. Industry experts such as BTIG's Richard Greenfield believe that Time Warner Cable is fully aware the Essentials package is designed to underperform, and perhaps even fail. However, the political gain that could be gained from this package is primary motivation for introducing it. By demonstrating to members of Congress that consumers don't want a "cheaper alternative," TWC executives hope to keep elevating costs while keeping the government out of any future Time Warner dispute . This will also give politicians something to offer their constituents. Politicians can now claim the "Essentials" package was a result of their influence, with both Time Warner Cable and the government able to lay the blame squarely on the wallet of the viewer. In short, by failing to sell cheap snake oil, they can continue to sell overpriced medicine.
Thankfully, there is an alternative. DIRECTV continues to offer cost effective service without stripping the truly essential channels from their basic bundles. If you are looking to avoid the trickery, retransmission feuds, and mendacious dealings of cable providers, call 866-310-4985 and order DIRECTV.
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