Time Warner Cable is applying the old football cliché of "hit 'em low and hit 'em high" to its video tiers. The nation's second-largest cable operator is expanding the availability of its cost-conscious TV Essentials video tier, while at the same time re-launching its premium SignatureHome tier.
SignatureHome and TV Essentials are the fruition of Time Warner Cable’s well-defined segmentation strategy that has been in the works for some time.
Yesterday, during a Goldman Sachs Group conference, Time Warner Cable president and chief operating officer Rob Marcus said the company would start offering TV Essentials in additional markets on the East Coast.
Time Warner Cable took TV Essentials for trial spins last year in its New York City and northeast Ohio divisions. The video tier came with promotional prices of $40 a month in the Big Apple and $30 in northeast Ohio.
Time Warner Cable is able to offer TV Essentials at a lower price than its other video tiers because it excludes high-cost channels such as ESPN. Also missing from the channel lineup in the initial trials were TNT, Fox News and MSNBC.
While TV Essentials may bring less to Time Warner Cable's coffers, the company hopes the lower price will induce customers to return to the fold or not cancel their current subscriptions.
On the other end of the video spectrum, Time Warner Cable said this morning that it was re-launching its high-end, white glove SignatureHome tier. After a trial in Charlotte, N.C., SignatureHome officially got off the ground in December. The package includes Time Warner Cable's Wideband Internet with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps, multi-room DVR service, a wireless network, phone service, and dedicated teams of installers and customer service reps.
All of those bells and whistles came with a price tag of $200 a month in New York City and $180 a month in Charlotte.
Today's re-launch of SignatureHome included new TV spots that Time Warner Cable claims have an "edgier attitude."
"We are very proud with the look and feel of this campaign as we continually work to evolve the ways we reach our customers," said Jeffrey Hirsch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for residential services at Time Warner Cable. "This advertising campaign is fundamentally different from anything we've done in the past, and we are confident that it will resonate well with the potential SignatureHome customer."
Time Warner Cable also plans to mix Spanish-language assets into SignatureHome over the coming months.
During Time Warner Cable's second-quarter earnings call, Marcus said the company was "formulating a version of SignatureHome for Spanish-speaking customers to be launched later this year."
"During Q2, we nearly doubled the number of customers taking SignatureHome, our high-end triple play, coupling our best products with customized service," Marcus said on the conference call. "We ended the quarter with about 17,000 SignatureHome subs, paying an average of $220 per month."