Time Warner Spells Out Family Tier


Time Warner Cable Thursday became the first cable company to define its new family-friendly tier, featuring 15 channels, including Time Warner Inc.-owned CNN Headline News.

The “Family Choice” tier, to be rolled out across its service area in the first quarter of 2006, will cost consumers $12.99 above the cost for the MSO’s broadcast-basic service tier.

It will include kids’ services Boomerang, Discovery Kids, Disney Channel, Toon Disney and Nick Games & Sports. The other services are The Science Channel, DIY Network, Fit TV, Food Network, Home & Garden Television, La Familia, The Weather Channel, C-SPAN-2, C-SPAN 3 and Headline News.

Broadcast basic costs an average of $12 per month, a company spokesman said. A digital set-top costs $7.95 per month. All of the channels are currently distributed on Time Warner Cable systems.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Kyle McSlarrow told a Senate committee Monday that Comcast Corp., Time Warner and other MSOs serving about 50% of all cable subscribers will offer a Family Choice tier, probably in the first quarter of next year, as their response to concerns about indecent content across the cable dial.

“Our customers have always had the tools to actively exclude any channel or program they might find objectionable for their families,” Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt said in a press release. “This new family tier will offer our customers yet another way to obtain kid-friendly programs without the need for them to take an active role in monitoring shows and deciding on which ones to proactively block from their TV set.”