Verizon is trying to upend the traditional pay-TV model by letting its customers have more control over exactly which channels they purchase.
The telco giant, which serves about 5 million pay-TV customers through its FiOS fiber-optic service, will begin selling a slimmed-down channel package on Sunday. Customers start with a basic package of channels like ABC, Fox, CNN and more. They can then add genre-specific “channel packs,” including a sports pack featuring ESPN, a kids pack featuring Nickelodeon and an entertainment pack featuring TNT, among others.
The basic plan will cost $55 for the mandatory channels (about 35 total) and two channel packs. Additional packs will cost $10 each and can be switched monthly. Verizon will also continue to offer various TV bundles that include Internet access or phone service.
The move comes as competitors like Dish Network are already offering cheaper, slimmed-down cable bundles. Sling TV and HBO are offering content without the need for a cable subscription at all. Apple is also rumored to be working on a smaller cable bundle that would stream channels over the Internet and cost $30 to $40 per month.