Cable TV is on the way out, and YouTube TV is in for Wide Open West, or WOW!, a smaller US broadband operator with just over a half million internet customers and, as of March 31st, 117,000 households paying for cable TV.
The process of migrating WOW!’s residential video customers to YouTube TV will begin this summer as WOW! discontinues the marketing and selling of its TV services, including WOW! tv+, and sells YouTube TV across its footprint. WOW! will maintain and support its current video services as its existing base of video customers can switch from WOW!’s current video products to YouTube TV.
WOW! has been transitioning away from traditional cable since introducing WOW! tv+ several years ago, which is its IPTV service that uses an Android-based streaming box for on-demand video, cloud DVR, and a Google Assistant voice remote. The company also offers bundled pricing for streaming TV alternatives like FuboTV, DirecTV streaming, and, yes, YouTube TV, but this new deal would distill its video options to just marketing the YouTube TV subscription with no included hardware.
Google said YouTube TV surpassed 5 million subscribers last year, and a recent analyst report pegged its total at about 6.3 million now, with months to go before the Sunday Ticket deal kicks in. Still, whether they get their TV from a streaming service or traditional cable, the number of pay-TV subscribers in the US has continued to drop and is around 75.5 million households, according to the report by MoffettNathanson.