streaming videoMany smaller broadband operators are launching managed broadband TV services, which generally feature local broadcast channels (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, etc.) delivered to a private Roku channel (or other streaming video device). Operators are hoping to attract customers who are interested in a skinny bundle of video, rather than the traditional pay-TV channel line-up for varying reasons. We discussed sales and marketing strategies for managed broadband TV at our recent broadbandTV event.

We interviewed Michele Conditt, marketing and business manager for Reliance Connects and Robin Anderson, senior marketing consultant with Pivot Group, both of whom are actively involved in the emerging broadband TV trend. Reliance Connects, with operations in Washington and Oregon, offers a managed broadband TV service called EZVideo.

Both Conditt and Anderson stressed the importance of tying faster and better broadband, along with proper customer education as key to success in marketing and selling managed broadband TV.

“We’re just looking to kind of capture a part of that market and offer another choice for people who can’t get traditional cable TV or that don’t want to pay high satellite cable TV prices,” said Conditt. “We’re offering higher Internet speeds for a lower Internet tier price….people really like that offer that they get a little more Internet for the price and this new TV offering.”

Anderson, who consults with multiple operators who offer managed broadband TV, cited research results from a recent joint Telecompetitor/Pivot Group study on OTT video that points to the important role of customer education.

“The biggest concern that companies had with trying to roll out a product like this was just educating the customer,” said Anderson. “Some of the companies that responded said one of the biggest things is just sitting down and having a conversation, so whether it’s a display area in your lobby where you can demo the product or actually having the techs trained to sit down when they go into the customer’s homes and be able to show them hands on how it works.”

These emerging managed broadband TV services are often lumped in with other OTT video offers and labeled OTT, but they really are not. They are streaming video services delivered across a closed and managed broadband network, unlike OTT which is delivered across the open Internet.

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