Add cable service packages from Comcast to the products and services available at Amazon.com.
As first spotted by TV Predictions, the recently launched “Amazon Cable Store” features a range of services from Comcast, spanning stand-alone broadband service, to double-play and triple-play packages. According to Variety, consumers in consumers in all Comcast service areas not yet eligible to purchase cable service packages as Amazon extends support all of the MSO’s regions.
Comcast, which has been asked for comment on the new relationship with Amazon, appears to be the first MSO to be featured in the Amazon Cable Store, but the relatively generic name of the new Amazon feature seems to suggest that other operators might eventually offer services via Amazon. If so, it could establish a valuable, new digital sales channel for Comcast and other cable operators as they seek new ways to keep broadband subscriber growth stoked and return video to a sustainable level of growth following years of decline in that category.
Update: Comcast confirmed the Amazon relationship Monday in a press release , announcing that the it’s “another step in Comcast’s multi-year effort to transform the customer experience.” The URL for the offering is: http://www.amazon.com/cablestore .
Xfinity purchases made on Amazon, Comcast said, are supported by a dedicated team of Comcast customer service agents who are based in Comcast’s new call centers in Spokane, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Those agents have been specifically trained to handle all customer service interactions from sales and billing to installation and follow-up, Comcast said.
Comcast said pricing offered via Amazon.com is identical to what is available via the MSO’s existing sales channels. Customers new to Comcast can choose from more than 30 Xfinity products and services, including X1, the operator’s next-gen video product.
“Amazon is not only the biggest online retailer and a place where millions of our customers shop every day, but it’s also a brand that’s unrivaled when it comes to customer service,” Charlie Herrin, EVP of customer experience for Comcast Cable, said in a statement. “Amazon’s new marketplace provides an immersive online destination to showcase our terrific suite of products including Xfinity X1.”
Amazon’s site is offering a wide mix of services from Comcast. It was not clear how much of a cut Amazon is getting from the offering. Notably, Amazon is reportedly in talks with programmers about securing rights for a possible live TV service, and already offers add-on subscriptions from partners such as Starz and Showtime via a new ‘Streaming Partners Program’ for Amazon Prime.
Though Comcast services via Amazon are not yet offered in all MSO regions, in the 80126 area code, for example, Amazon is selling several stand-alone broadband services, including a 10 Mbps offering under a promotional price of $29.99 per month for the first 12 months, before rising to $49.99 per month.
Also on offer are broadband services that deliver downstream speeds of up to 25 Mbps ($39.99 per month for 12 months), 75 Mbps ($49.99 per month for a year), and 150 Mbps ($49.99 per month for 12 months, before rising to $89.95 per month). That pricing doesn’t include a modem, which costs up to $10 per month if it’s leased, or installation fees.
Comcast is also using Amazon to sell TV/Internet bundles, including a package with 30-plus channels, with HBO, an HD-DVR, and a 75 Mbps broadband service, for $79.99 per month for 12 months, before rising to $92.95 per month.
The Comcast “starter” triple-play bundle via Amazon offers 140-plus channels, an HD-DVR, 75 Mbps broadband, and voice service for $99 for the first 12 months, then $164.93 after 12 months, and $194.89 per month after 24 months.
Comcast is also selling no-term services and packages via Amazon that cost more than the contract prices.