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Cablevision and Verizon FIOS Attempt to Woo Cord-Cutters

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Competition is spurring innovation for pay TV providers, but will consumers show interest? Cablevision has announced a cord-cutter package designed to attract people tired of inflated pay TV bills. The package includes Optimum Online Ultra 50 broadband that promises 50Mbps downstream, a free digital antenna (the Mohu Leaf 50) for tuning in over-the-air broadcast channels, the use of Optimum Wi-Fi hotspots, and a first-year price of $44.90 per month. Cablevision hasn't announced how high the price will rise after the first year. Subscribers can sign on to HBO Now for an additional $15 per month, which, of course, they could do anyway.

Cablevision is also offering what it calls an "everyday low price" package for $34.90 per month. This includes broadband with 5Mbps download, a free digital antenna, the use of Optimum hotspots, and Wi-Fi voice service. The company notes that the monthly price here isn't a promotional rate.

This news comes a few days after Verizon FIOS introduced an option that lets shoppers start with a $54.99 per month base package that includes a handful of channels, then add on channel bundles that provide lifestyle, entertainment, news, pop culture, kids, or sports programming. While it sounds attractive, others have noted that the monthly price can add up quickly.

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