Blog Post

Would You Pay Comcast $10 a Month for Online TV?

While watching Hulu and other premium online content on your big screen TV isn’t a threat to cable companies right now (TV watching is at an all time high, and getting high-quality content from PC to TV isn’t that easy yet), Comcast (s CMSCA) can see the writing on the wall, so last week it mobilized its own online video initiative to provide its customers with a way to watch premium TV programming online as part of a cable subscription. Comcast says this extension will be free (though there could be some pay-per-view elements). But according to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), people will pony up for such a service.

TDG writes (emphasis theirs):

[A]pproximately 43% of consumers are to varying degrees interested in such a TV-to-PC service. Here’s the best part: they’ll pay extra for this privilege. In other words, they do not view a TV-to-PC video service as something they are entitled to due to the fact they are a Pay TV subscriber. … [T]o enjoy their TV content on their desktop and laptop PCs:

• 48% of those interested would spend as much as $10 per month above their current
Pay TV fees;

• 12% would spend as much as $15 per month; and

• 7% would spend $20 or more per month.

TDG does some math and figures that Comcast could wind up with an extra $522 million in revenue each year by charging $10 a month. But that is contingent upon people paying — and customers not canceling another part of their service. People have gotten used to a free premium content online right now; I’m not sure how much more they’ll spend for ad-supported video. Plus, spending ten bucks a month for access to content stored online could negate my need for a DVR, for instance, or another cable box in the house.

Is there a price point sweet spot for you? If so, what is it? Would you drop other services?

[polldaddy poll=1403079]

25 Responses to “Would You Pay Comcast $10 a Month for Online TV?”

  1. My wife and I have been with comcast for over 10 years
    long if you ad when they where viacom and using the
    same package that not affordeble but can manage now all
    of a sutten raised 75 dollars for the same package now
    we had to cut back on our service just to get decent
    tv for the last 4 or 5 months I’ve been researching
    to try to find the right service to get my programming
    on I got a microsoft webtv kit to connect to my flatscreen I have 4 tv’s and I want to go just internet
    tv I downloaded a couple programs like sagetv there platform seems to be very nice have to get more hardware
    like a dvbviewer for it to work and satelite and cable
    website I wasn’t happy with the broadcast wasn’t very good I system I know the broadcast and local station thats very importantany any one know any sites i can check out I want to cut off my cable service and go internet.

  2. I once was a cable guy and hated every minute of it. I had to deal with high speed internet and cable problems. If a company would put all there tv programs on the net for people to watch, it would get rid of one problem.(Cable trouble calls) Getting rid of cable broadcasting would be great. The cable guy would only have to worry about the high speed internet problems. I say YES I would love to pay $10 a month for cable over the internet.

  3. Why would I pay for “free” tv?
    No just no hell no.
    Tv Has little or no value to me.
    I could if I really wanted to buy a slingbox.
    Or I could use Orb and with a simple script view tv
    on my iphone over the internet. If I wanted to which
    I do now. About the only “show” I need to see when I’m not at home is CNBC so I can keep track of the market.

  4. My goal is to leave Comcast behind. Wish I could for broadband. I see cable becoming like the music companies, they’ll eventually realize that by charging their customers exorbitant fees for product (for music it was the CD) they’ll lose any loyalty from the customer. We know when we’re being ripped off and respond accordingly.

  5. It can certainly be a service itself. This specific research just tested the concept as an additional expense, but we’re also doing research on the extent to which it could survive as a stand-alone offering without cannabalizing Pay TV revenues.

  6. Bob Loblaw

    I would love to know where they find these people who are willing to pay for this content over and above their already high prices. They obviously don’t talk to anyone who has any idea what is going on with online video.

  7. The research was related to delivering full Pay TV service, includingall your linear TV programming from ESPSN, Disney, Discovery, etc. Think “TV service to the PC,” not “TV content put online.” Very important difference, as the price to be paid is in addition existing Pay TV fees. The PC is literally positioned as second TV screen, but served via an online property.

    Please visit the link to read the larger piece.

    • Chris Albrecht

      @Michael,

      Thanks for commenting! I actually called your office yesterday but no one answered (no voicemail option either). Perhaps I could have been clearer in the post, but I was looking at it as full TV service on your PC. What I watch is so limited, however, that I can already find most if not all of it online already.

  8. I can’t believe I actually found a site worth talking about. I ordered the software for Online TV on my PC, and I get all the channels that’s advertised. Now I can firmly say, “if you look hard enough you will find reliable service. One happy camper right here.

  9. Tom Leibrock

    Why would you pay for this when you can just buy a Slingbox? It lets you stream any channel from your cable or satellite tv online for free. Much better choice in my opinion.

  10. As someone who doesn’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV I’d at least consider the first 30 days — especially if I could get it to work on a smartphone. In the past I’ve found that no matter how much or little I pay to Comcast, it’s not worth the time wasted troubleshooting and waiting on hold.