Comcast has made a somewhat unlikely new friend: The Parents Television Council.
PTC, which has long pushed for a la carte as a way to give cable subs a way to opt out of "inappropriate" content, praised Comcast Monday on reports it is testing a stripped-down basic bundle featuring only broadcast channels, HBO, WiFi and broadband access.
The "Internet Plus" package would be priced at $39.99 for the first year, $70 after that.
It is an interesting content offering for PTC to be praising given that HBO programming is hardly devoid of salty language and sexual situations. But a PTC spokesperson confirms that what they are welcoming is more choice and that if Comcast can do it with HBO, it can do it with other channels as well.
“It’s welcome news for any cable company to offer some measure of choice to consumers when most cable companies say they can’t give consumers more choice, ” said PTC President Tim Winter in a statement.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) earlier this year introduced an a la carte bill, but it is not expected to get traction in this politically divided Congress.
Cable operators have long argued that they are not opposed to choice, but that the marketplace, not government, should drive it. With pressure from web video, the marketplace it pressing, and Comcast is testing out one response.