Comcast has stopped selling MyTV Choice, an ESPN-free video tier that the operator launched about two years ago that started at $24.95 per month.
Comcast has not yet commented on or given a reason for the decision to pull back the service, which was introduced in late 2011. Comcast has not said how many customers have taken MyTV Choice, a service that has largely been used to retain customers using a thematic bundle in four programming categories: Kids; News & Info; Entertainment & Lifestyle; and Movies. Carriage deals with channels like ESPN do come with a base level of distribution, though it’s not known if that factored into Comcast’s reasoning in this instance.
The fine print does note that Comcast “may discontinue MyTV Choice services at any time,” so it is apparently invoking that privilege. “If discontinued or if any required service is cancelled/downgraded, Comcast will replace MyTV Choice with Limited Basic Service at Comcast's regular rates.”
The decision to yank MyChoice TV might also signal a shift in Comcast’s strategy for lower-cost, no-contract, sports-free video services.
Following a recently scaled up test of a prepaid Internet service, Comcast has since begun to try out a prepaid TV service in Detroit led by a $69.95 starter kit that includes a digital transport adapter (a simple, one-way “channel zapper” that does not inherently support interactive services such as video-on-demand), requisite cabling, remote control and 30 days of a video service comprised of 36 TV channels and 46 digital music channels from Music Choice. Customers can refill service in increments of seven days for $15 or 30 days for $45 using a credit, debit or Comcast-supplied prepaid card.
Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable are among other operators that have introduced low-cost video tiers, but have yet to pull the trigger on a prepaid offering.