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Time Warner Cable Plugs HBO Into Stripped-Down, Cheaper TV Bundle

Package includes HBO and about 20 broadcast TV channels for $29.99 monthly promo price

HBO is feeling the love from Big Cable.

Time Warner Cable is now marketing a low-cost bundle that includes a limited bunch of TV channels and HBO — a package aimed at “cord nevers” and others who aren’t interested in paying for a typical lineup of cable channels.

The operator’s “Starter TV with HBO” package, priced at $29.99 per month, is “a great value for lighter TV viewing” with broadcast networks and access to “the HBO shows everyone’s talking about,” according to Time Warner Cable’s website. The special pricing, available for the first 12 months, does not include a set-top box fees or other charges.

The bare-bones TV package with about 20 channels includes local broadcast nets; the three C-SPAN channels; and shopping nets HSN, QVC and ShopNBC.

SEE ALSO: Comcast Offers HBO Without Other Cable Channels in Bundle Aimed at Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers

TW Cable’s launch of the HBO-plus-basic-TV promo comes after Comcast earlier this fall began offering “Internet Plus,” a bundle priced at $39.99 or $49.99 per month (depending on market) that includes broadband, broadcast TV channels and HBO.

Pay TV providers are required under FCC regulations to offer premium services like HBO on a standalone basis in conjunction with any TV tier. What’s new with the Comcast and TW Cable offers is that they are now actively marketing cheaper packages with HBO at a promotional price.

HBO has previously said it was “thrilled” that Comcast was offering its service in the bundle, which “recognizes the popularity of HBO’s programming and brand.”

The rising cost of pay-TV packages has been a major concern in the industry recently, with price hikes a key factor leading to small but measurable declines in subscribers over the last year.

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