Anyone that’s ever had the pleasure of a telephonic interaction with their unfriendly, corporate cable and broadband provider knows just how invested they are in upselling. Calling because your cable box stopped working for no discernable reason? Well, how would you like to add a landline while you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
The flip side of that upselling, of course, is hiding cheaper, unbundled options from consumers. Today, the Federal Communications Commission imposed an $800,000 fine on Comcast for failing to market its standalone broadband Internet service, reports PCWorld.
CEO Reed Hastings has long-tried to maintain that Netflix is not, in fact, a nefarious plot to destroy the cable companies, but rather a “complementary” service that will leave cords to cable companies neatly intact. Whether or not Mr. Hastings is being sincere about Netflix’s end goal, it looks like that’s how it’s playing out for now. Using last night’s True Blood premiere as bait, HBO saw its 3 millionth download of the HBO Go mobile app (for the iPad, iPhone, and Android) this weekend. The app, a direct competitor to Netflix, can be accessed for free by paying HBO cable customers. Considering that there are 28 million HBO subscribers around the country, that means about 10 percent have tried out the app just since it premiered on May 2nd.
Time Warner and Cablevision customers in New York City still have to wait for the city’s largest cable service providers to close the deal. (And deal with their Soviet-style customer service.) But the New York Post reports that talks are underway.