Time Warner Cable is offering customers in five markets a $200 prepaid debit card if they sign up for certain Verizon Wireless plans -- ahead of government approval of the expansive agreements between four cable operators and the wireless giant.
TWC on Thursday kicked off joint marketing programs with Verizon Wireless in Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Kansas City, Kan.; and Raleigh, N.C.
In December 2011, Time Warner Cable, along with Comcast and Bright House Networks, announced an agreement to sell Verizon Wireless their Advanced Wireless Services spectrum holdings for $3.6 billion. In addition, the operators and wireless carrier said they would sell each other's services in select areas. Cox Communications subsequently entered into a similar arrangement with Verizon Wireless.
But the MSO-Verizon Wireless deals have not been cleared by the FCC or Justice Department. Last month, the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee held a hearing to explore whether the agreements threatened competition and would hurt consumers.
In any case, both Comcast and TWC are moving ahead on the co-marketing side of the deal. Comcast has launched initial co-marketing programs with Verizon Wireless in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.
Under Time Warner Cable's offer, new or existing customers who purchase qualifying cable bundles and Verizon Wireless services are eligible for a $200 prepaid debit card. Users must sign a two-year contract for a new Verizon Wireless smartphone or tablet with a data plan and keep service for at least 90 days. An early termination fee applies for the Verizon Wireless services.
TWC and Verizon Wireless said they expect to launch these packages in additional markets in the MSO's footprint over the next few months.
"The joining together of the best products and services from Time Warner Cable and Verizon Wireless into a single package is a big win for customers" in the five initial markets, TWC chief marketing officer Jeffery Hirsch said in a statement. "These new packages provide more choice, convenience, greater value and bring customers a more complete entertainment and communications experience inside their home and wherever they go."
More information on the offers is available at www.twc.com/verizonwireless.