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Summary:

Comcast is offering broadband, local channels and HBO for $40 a month – but Time Warner’s CEO isn’t worried. Maybe because the sticker price isn’t what you end up paying.

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That Comcast deal that gives you broadband internet and HBO for $40? Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes isn’t stressing out about it. Bewkes told analysts during Wednesday’s earnings call that the offering is pretty limited, according to Deadline.com, adding that it won’t be attractive to most people.

Last week, news emerged that Comcast has started to offer an Internet Plus bundle, promising consumers 25 MB broadband, access to HBO and a small bundle of local TV channels for $40 a month for a one-year promotional period, after which the price would go up to $70 a month.

Bewkes said Wednesday that this kind of limited bundle may be appealing to some, but that most pay TV bundles still include Time Warner channels like TNT, TBS and CNN, which are responsible for 80 percent of the company’s cable network revenue.

Bewkes could be right about the limited appeal of Comcast’s offering, in part because it may look better on paper than it really is: The folks over at the Verge decided to call up Comcast’s customer service to actually get the deal, and they were told that they also had to pay $17 in rental and HD fees, plus additional taxes and fees, which likely brings the whole price to a little more than $60 per month.

The Verge also called up a number of other cable operators, and found that getting HBO and broadband is still very hard, with salespeople regularly pitching more expensive packages and making odd claims about broadband speeds necessary to stream video. In other words: Even if you don’t want the full cable bundle, you’re still gonna get the cable sales experience.

  1. Why would Time Warner’s CEO care? They don’t compete with Comcast. None of the major cable companies compete. It’s an unwritten, but highly respected rule, among them.

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