Cox Communications is quietly rolling out low-cost programming packages called "TV Economy," which offer subscribers access to about 20 expanded basic cable networks such as Discovery Channel, E! and Nickelodeon, in addition to local broadcast channels.
The MSO is charging subscribers $34.99 monthly for the programming packages, which have launched in several markets, including Cox systems in parts of New England, Louisiana, Virginia and San Diego.
ESPN and regional sports networks are not included in the low-cost programming package. The lineup varies by market. In Idaho, TV Economy includes AMC, Animal Planet, BET, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, History, Discovery Channel, E!, Food, Fox News Channel, Galavision, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, MSNBC, TV Guide, TruTV, The Weather Channel, TV Land and USA Network.
Cox began notifying local franchise authorities about the rollout of the TV Economy packages late last year, including regulators in Virginia, who received this letter.
"The TV Economy package was initially introduced as a trial offer in certain markets and was not a permanent part of Cox's standard tiers of service. Cox is now adding TV Economy as one of our standard service offerings as part of our continued effort to provide a variety of options that serve our customers' needs and suit their budgets," Cox spokesman Todd Smith told FierceCable Monday.
- see Cox letter about TV Economy (PDF)
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