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Consolidated to push former video customers to MyBundle

The move comes about a month after Consolidated said it would exit the traditional pay TV market.

The move comes about a month after Consolidated said it would exit the traditional pay TV market.

An office for Consolidated Communications in Yelm, Washington. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)
An office for Consolidated Communications in Yelm, Washington. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)

Consolidated Communications has inked an agreement with streaming video marketplace MyBundle to offer its Internet customers additional options for their video programming needs.

The arrangement comes about four weeks after Consolidated affirmed plans to stop offering traditional cable television throughout its service footprint as part of a reorganization of its business around fiber-based Internet products.

As part of the transition away from cable television, Consolidated will point customers of its Fidium fiber Internet service to MyBundle’s streaming video marketplace, where they can explore different options to receive local and national programming along with video on-demand services.

Like the standalone version of MyBundle, Fidium customers who use the MyBundle service will be asked which local broadcast and national cable channels they want to receive, and then will be presented various options that include all or most of those channels.

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From the MyBundle marketplace, customers can sign up for a streaming cable replacement like Sling TV, YouTube TV or DirecTV Stream, along with dozens of video on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Paramount Plus with Showtime.

“Consolidated’s commitment to providing the right solutions for our customers with simple options, like our Fidium fiber Internet services, guided our decision to partner with MyBundle,” Rob Koester, the Senior Vice President of Product Management for Consolidated, said in a statement this week.

Koester continued: “As the TV landscape changes rapidly, it’s important to have a partner who provides the tools necessary for selecting and getting the most out of streaming options that work for our customers.”

Since The Desk first profiled MyBundle in December 2020, the startup has scaled rapidly to include service agreements with small- and rural-broadband providers that are increasingly looking to exit the traditional cable TV market with an eye toward broadband.

MyBundle is an attractive option to broadband providers because it allows them to exit the low-margin business of pay TV in favor of building out and marketing other services like high-speed Internet and wireless phone.

In an interview with this reporter last year, MyBundle CEO Jason Cohen predicted “hundreds” of broadband providers will abandon their traditional TV product in favor of shifting consumers over to streaming video services over the next few years.

Many consumers have already made the switch on their own, picking streaming-based services that allow them to choose the bundles of channels they want to watch without having to subscribe to a bloated programming package.

Consolidated is one of the largest legacy cable TV operators to partner with MyBundle over the past three years. This week, Cohen said broadband companies that partner with MyBundle receive more than just a marketplace where they can direct TV fans — they also get a platform that helps educate consumers on the benefits of switching from traditional to streaming TV.

“MyBundle is the partner of choice for leading-edge and forward-looking broadband providers, such as Consolidated, looking to take advantage of this new era of streaming to grow and excite their broadband customer bases,” Cohen said in a statement. “MyBundle increases customer satisfaction through education and awareness of how streaming services can save a ton of money for the vast majority of households, whether that be Live TV or on-demand content.”

In addition to its service recommendation engine, MyBundle is also working to build out a subscription management tool that allows streamers to pay for a service without leaving the MyBundle website or that of their pay TV provider.

The deployment of the subscription management platform has not scaled as rapidly as MyBundle’s white label agreements with cable and broadband partners, but a few recognizable names have already integrated their services into the tool — namely, Dish Network’s Sling TV, which offers national cable networks from established programmers like Fox Corporation, the Walt Disney Company and AMC Networks.

In conversations with The Desk over the past year, Cohen said other streaming video providers have expressed interest in integrating with the subscription management feature, but those deals are still a work in progress.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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