Just last month Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said he was open to the possibility of bundling HBO Go with broadband subscriptions, and it looks like that vision is now being executed — in a way. As spotted by DSL Reports and GigaOM, Comcast is now offering a package called Internet Plus. It puts together a 25 Mbps internet connection, a basic TV lineup of 45 channels, Comcast's own streaming video service Streampix, and most importantly, a subscription to HBO and HBO Go. According to DSL Reports it's priced between $40 and $50 and is only available in certain markets. We were able to confirm that it's available in sections of Northern California for $39.99 a month.
The package is essentially what many cord cutters, and Game of Thrones fans, have been asking for: a way to legally watch their favorite shows online over a speedy internet connection, without paying for expensive, full-scale TV packages that they never watch. To get a sense of how little the basic TV service adds to the cost of Internet Plus, one needs only to look at Comcast's other $39.99 package. That deal is made up of the same 25 Mbps internet connection paired with telephone service — with no television or streaming video options at all.
It's important to note that this may just be a trial balloon; the offer is available only to new customers, and you'll have to sign up by January 31st in order to take advantage. After the first year of service the cost will also jump up to $69.95. But given the popularity of streaming video services, there's undeniable pressure for service providers to address consumer demand for a la carte programming without upsetting their basic business models. These kind of small steps are welcome — and certainly, the possibility exists that some customers could find themselves so enraptured by the programming on television that they upgrade to more elaborate packages. For those that aren't interested in hundreds of channels at their fingertips, however, it's a sign that companies may finally be open to addressing their wants and needs as well.