Comcast using a mix of prepaid Visa cards and premium video services to attract new triple-play customers to X1, the MSO’s next-gen, IP-capable video platform that features a cloud-based interface.
Depending on the level of service, the current online promotion for X1, set to expire Wednesday, features prepaid Visa cards, the X1 DVR service, and limited, free access to HBO and Xfinity Streampix, a premium-level, multiscreen VOD service developed by Comcast that is largely viewed as a competitor to Netflix.
For the most part, Comcast is pricing triple-play packages featuring X1 at the same price as bundles matched with its legacy video platform, but the current promo also bakes in discounts that are available only when purchased online.
Among the seven X1 tiers, Comcast is offering its “Starter” level triple play for $89 per month for twelve months, with a two-year commitment, matched with a lineup of 80-plus channels, the MSO’s 20 Mbps (downstream) high-speed Internet tier, a $150 Visa card, three months of HBO, and six months of the X1 DVR service.
The mid-range “HD Complete” package sells for $159.99 per month for the first twelve months, and features a 50-Meg Internet service, a lineup of more than 200 channels, the recently launched multiroom DVR service (for up to four rooms), and a $500 prepaid Visa card.
The high-end “HD Premier” tier fetches $189.99 per month for the first twelve months, tacks on 50 Mbps Internet, a lineup of 200-plus channels (including premium channels), the X1 DVR service, and Xfinity Streampix.
A Comcast spokesman said the MSO started marketing X1 triple-play more aggressively about a month ago. Although the current online sale is set to expire on Wednesday, Comcast is expected to follow with revised triple-play campaigns that focus on X1.
Following this week’s launch in Baltimore, Comcast has rolled out X1 to more than a dozen markets, including Illinois; northwest Indiana; Southwest Michigan; Independence, Mo.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Philadelphia; New Jersey; Colorado; and several California systems, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Stockton, and Santa Barbara.
Those launches are coming ahead of X2, an upgrade of Comcast’s cloud-based interface that features a new look and personalization features that will work on set-tops, gateways, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices. X2, set for initial rollouts this fall, will also support a new Cloud DVR service and an in-home TV streaming offering. All customers on the X1 platform will eventually be upgraded to the X2 experience.
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