Time Warner Cable Offers Cheaper TV Package Without ESPN

Time Warner Cable Inc. is rolling out a lower-priced cable TV package called “TV Essentials” that excludes major cable networks like ESPN, Comedy Central, TNT, Fox News, MSNBC, Fox regional sports networks and MSG.

The offering will begin Monday on a test basis in New York City, where it will cost $39.95 per month, and northern Ohio, including Cleveland and Akron, where it will cost $29.95 per month. Those prices are 12-month promotions, and Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff said the retail value of the package is $49.99 per month.

The package is aimed at lower-income customers that have been struggling in the weak economy. Time Warner Cable and other major cable operators have suffered a slowdown in their subscriber performance in recent quarters, with some consumers dropping cable TV service as unemployment remains high and the U.S. housing market continues to struggle.

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