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Summary:

Cable operators used to focus on TV bundles as their main selling point, and treat internet access as an add-on. A recent mailer sent out by Time Warner Cable strikes a different tone, offering users a year of free TV if they improve their Netflix experience.

time warner cable

Tail, meet dog: Time Warner Cable is currently sending a mailer to internet-only customers, suggesting that they should upgrade their broadband speeds for a better Netflix experience and offering to throw in a whole year of free TV as a bonus.

How about some TV with your Netflix? Time Warner Cable’s latest mailer to Internet-only customers.

Why is this remarkable? Because not too long ago, cable companies viewed TV services as their main money maker and broadband as an added service. The Time Warner Cable offer doesn’t just turn this model on its head, it also puts the focus squarely on Netflix as one of the main reasons people would want fast internet access.

Of course, Netflix has been blamed by some in the industry as a reason why people would cut the cord and go internet-only in the first place. For these cord cutters, an ad like this may actually be a smart thing: Instead of making them feel like they’re subscribing to an expensive TV bundle, Time Warner Cable is putting the emphasis squarely on Netflix, a service Internet-only users likely already enjoy.

It’s worth noting that Netflix isn’t actually included in the subscription package advertised by Time Warner Cable, but that could change: Reuters reported in March that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had been meeting with some large U.S. cable providers to discuss the possibility of adding Netflix to their service bundle. The report also stated that at least one cable company would be ready to try such a cooperation by the end of the year, and Hastings went on the record at an investor conference saying that such bundles are “ the natural direction for (Netflix) in the long term.”

For more on the future of cord cutting, check out my e-book Cut the Cord: All You Need to Know to Drop Cable.

TWC van photo courtesy of (CC BY 2.0) Flickr user The Consumerist.

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  1. There is no offer (except perhaps ‘free’) that would tempt me to sign up for service with Time Warner. Yes, they are that bad and I dislike them that much.

  2. I’m a TWC internet-only customer who’s been thinking of going back to cable or satellite TV, largely due to the lack of live sports availability online – and this offer is a joke. I currently stream most of my video with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime on a Roku. My bandwidth is consistently in the 20 mbps range, and I rarely suffer from buffering or quality degradation while streaming. The $99 “ultimate” package would more than double my monthly cost, would give negligible noticeable difference in my streaming experience, and would give me a bundle of channels whose content I can already get online without giving me the channels I most want. For the same price I could keep TWC broadband & get a full package of channels from a satellite provider.

  3. That’s a pretty good deal. I will probably just sign up to get the free TV if the cost is not too much to upgrade. I pretty much have all entertainment I want with the ability to change my Netflix to different regions like UK and Canada with the help of services like UnoDNS.

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