Cablevision Systems Corp. on Monday said it cut the cost of its package of cable TV, Internet and phone service to $90 a month — a discount that takes aim at Verizon by essentially giving unlimited phone service away for free.
Verizon Communications, which offers competing telephone and high-speed Internet services in the New York area, offers a combined phone and Internet package -- without cable TV -- for around $90.
Bethpage, New York's, Cablevision, which has about 3 million cable subscribers in the New York City area, will offer the lower rate for the next 12 months. It is a $45 discount per month over what the services would cost if purchased separately.
Cablevision is eager to get subscribers to take all three parts of its "Optimum Triple Play" bundle, a strategy that has long been embraced by the cable industry as a way of keeping customers from defecting to satellite TV services.
Cable companies believe customers are less likely to switch to other providers if they subscribe to more services and get the convenience of all services on a single bill.
The discounted bundle allows customers to try out voice over Internet Protocol -- a service that sends voice calls over cable lines using the same technology used to move data over the Web. The service, called Optimum Voice includes unlimited local and long-distance calls within the United States and Canada.
Other cable operators moving aggressively into telephone service include Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Inc.'s Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp.