* Layer3 TV calls itself “concierge cable”
* Offers full bundle of channels from $75 a month
* BMW designed its cable box device
The competitive cable television industry just got a brand new player.
Layer3 TV, a self-described “next-generation cable operator,” has begun to roll out pay TV service across the U.S. Based out of Colorado, the company, which includes a number of former executives from Google, CNN, Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision and Microsoft, to name a few, has launched in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. It’s also offering service in Longmont, CO, in partnership with a municipal-owned provider called NextLight.
Layer3 will be a direct competitor to multi-system operators like Comcast and Charter Communications, as well as to satellite services like DirecTV and Dish Network. With a customizable bundle meant to make television more personal for customers, Layer3 could also take a bite into Sling TV and Hulu’s streaming audiences.
Marketing what it’s called a “Platinum Package,” Layer3 features a base offering of more than 200 channels in HD, starting at between $75-90 a month. You can also choose to add themed tiers, such as a sports tier (that includes ESPN Classic and Fox Sports College) or a movie tier (that adds on Reelz and EPIX, among others).
Sympathizing with people who are ditching their cable providers due to poor service or options, Layer3 is hoping to improve not only the variety of channels and packages available, but to also double down on customer service. Lindsay Gardner, Layer3 TV’s chief content officer, calls it “concierge cable.”
Further pushing the “luxury” theme, the company worked with BMW to develop its cable set-top box, which comes in a variety of colors and is finished with a sleek, futuristic sheen. Layer3 said the new device is 4K-capable and can record up to eight shows at once. It includes full-color LCD panel display, as well as an integrated DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem than can deliver speeds up to 600 Mbps downstream.
The company says Layer3 TV’s service is currently available to 13 million homes, with expanded service expected to be announced shortly.