Verizon Communications is rolling out a new pay TV plan that allows consumers to choose every month bundles of channels they want to see, hoping the flexibility will lure customers away from cable rivals and upstart Web TV companies.
The move is a small step in the direction of "a la carte" programming, which means allowing customers to build their own pay TV service, channel by channel. U.S. television networks have long resisted a la carte, in part because of concerns that subscribers will drop less-popular channels.
Verizon said its new "Custom TV" packages start at $65 a month for broadband service, 36 fixed basic channels and two genre-based channel packs, such as a sports bundle or kids channels. Users can add extra packs for $10 each, or swap or unsubscribe any pack after 30 days. Verizon has seven channel packs in total.