January 22, 2020
In a sign of the times, Rainbow Communications, a 67-year-old pay-TV operator based in Everest, Kansas, has begun notifying customers that it will cease distributing linear broadcast TV channels, effective June 30.
In the place of pay-TV, Rainbow will give customers direct access to third-party over-the-top video distribution through its broadband network.
“Most of our customers have chosen this route because watching video now accounts for 80% of our Internet network traffic,” the company said in a statement. “Therefore, we have decided to focus our efforts on delivering the best Internet experience possible, and end our TV service offering.”
The nation’s largest pay-TV providers representing about 93% of the market lost about 1.74 million combined video subscribers in the third-quarter fiscal period (ended Sept. 30, 2019), according to Leichtman Research Group.
Rainbow said the switch could save pay-TV subs upwards of $600 in cable fees, excluding SVOD subscriptions.
The former Northeast Kansas telephone operator with more than 6,000 rural subs is offering assistance to those customers looking to cut the cord with a “streaming care” program designed to determine the best alternative TV service that fits their household.
Beginning in February, Rainbow will assist customers in choosing which online TV streaming service is preferable based on their favorite channels, recommend devices and in-home installation of proprietary high-speed Internet service.
“Rainbow has been honored to be your TV provider through the years and looks forward to delivering a new exciting, inexpensive way to watch your favorite TV channels over our high-speed internet service,” said the company.