Retail

Cable Startup Layer3 Bets Against Streaming

Layer3 is a relatively new cable TV provider on the scene. The next-gen cable company reportedly looks to make a splash in part by sending associates in BMWs and Tesla models to install its service. But don’t let the newfangled rides fool you; Layer3 is working hard to go against the rising tide of media streaming services and apps.

Layer3 is betting big on basic and premium channel bundles, going against major players AT&T, HBO and CBS and others that have embraced online streaming via desktop and mobile apps to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

Jeff Binder, CEO of Layer3, was quoted by The Washington Post as saying, “We’re the first cable company in … 10 years to come that’s brand new. Consumers haven’t had a young innovative company to provide [pay TV] services to them since the mid-1990s, when Dish and DirectTV came on the scene.”

The Boston- and Colorado-based startup was founded in 2013 and to date has received over $70 million in venture funding from investors Evolution Media Capital and North Bridge Venture Partners & Growth Equity.

Following a few test pilot runs in Texas and Illinois, Layer3 officially launched its service in the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C., and has since rolled out to Chicago. The company has plans over the next two years to expand into more major U.S. cities.

The company’s standard cable package comes with 150 channels for $79 a month. Standard customers also get trial subscriptions to HBO and Epix, along with the additional add-on options.

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that one in seven Americans have dropped their cable services as prices continue to rise. The research center found that cord cutters are more likely to live in lower-income households. In homes whose annual incomes are $20,000 or below, 21 percent have cut the cord, compared to the 14 percent of households above that income threshold.

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