Cablevision today became the latest cable company to launch a premium version of its triple play bundle of voice, video and data service. As with the other premium bundle launches, the goal seems to be to combat the price erosion that bundled offerings have experienced in the last few years as cable companies have seen increased competition from telco video offerings.

Cablevision was the first cable operator to establish a price of $99 for a triple play of voice, video and data service—but the company has since lowered that price. The new offer, dubbed the Ultimate Triple Play, aims to boost per-subscriber revenues by adding several capabilities above what is available in the company’s traditional Optimum triple play bundle at a price of $99 per month for new subscribers for one year.

The premium features of the Ultimate Triple Play include faster Internet speeds (up to 50 Mb/s downstream and up to 8 Mb/s upstream at a new service level called Optimum Online Boost Plus), a WiFi router and Optimum Link, which lets customers display PC sounds and images–including video–on their televisions without additional equipment.

The addition of the WiFi router could be an excellent way for Cablevision to boost the use of its Optimum app for iPad,  which enables customers to watch cable programming on iPads in the home—a capability that has been gaining momentum with cable operators as a means of combating over-the-top content providers.

“We introduced the Optimum Triple Play in 2004 and it has been an enormously successful offer for Cablevision and one that has been emulated across the industry to establish three-product relationships with customers,” said Cablevision Executive Vice President of Marketing Jonathan Hargis in today’s announcement. As for the Ultimate Triple Play, Hargis said, “We believe this will be an extremely popular offer with new customers looking for the advantages of our core services combined with our latest technological innovations.”

Neither the Ultimate Triple Play announcement nor the Cablevision web site reveals the Ultimate Triple Play price for existing subscribers or for new subscribers after the first year is up. The announcement does note, however, that existing Internet subscribers can upgrade to Optimum Online Boost Plus for an additional $14.95 per month and that Optimum Link is available to existing digital cable subscribers for an additional fee of $4.95 per month.

Time Warner Cable also launched a premium triple play service recently but its approach is considerably different from Cablevision’s. Time Warner’s premium bundle is focused on “whole home” digital infotainment and includes capabilities such as Whole House DVR, Remote DVR Manager and Wireless Home Networking. When Telecompetitor reported on the offering in December, Time Warner Cable was forecasting a price of $180 to $200 per month for the premium bundle.


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