Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is beginning to supply subscribers on its OMGFAST wireless broadband system in Florida with Internet video set-tops from Roku, charging $5 monthly to lease the devices.
Last September, OMGFAST started offering subscribers who order its $49.95 monthly broadband service Apple TV set-tops. While Cablevision markets subscription video programming to Optimum cable subscribers in the New York metropolitan area, its OMGFAST system in South Florida only offers high-speed Internet and phone service.
Supplying the Roku and Apple TV devices to OMGFAST subscribers could help Cablevision compete with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and other pay TV providers with systems in the OMGFAST footprint.
Time Warner Cable announced earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it would allow subscribers to access 300 cable networks through Roku devices. But no major cable MSO has offered subscribers the option of leasing Internet video set-tops from Roku or other providers.
Cablevision recently struck a deal with Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) that makes it the first U.S. cable MSO to join the Netflix Open Connect content delivery network, giving it the ability to deliver "super HD" and 3D content from Netflix to its Optimum customers. The MSO doesn't yet offer subscribers on its cable systems in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut the option of leasing set-tops from Roku or Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Cablevision officials didn't respond to a request for comment on Friday.
OMGFAST relies on MVDDS (Multichannel Video and Data Distribution Service) spectrum that Cablevision acquired in 2004, and its service delivers download speeds of up to 50 Mbps. While Cablevision agreed to sell its MVDDS spectrum to Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) in October, Cablevision spokeswoman Kelly Fitzpatrick told FierceCable at the time that "OMGFAST continues to have rights to the spectrum."
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