Losing $ on Video-Just Say “No”

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WTC has offered communications services for over 100 years to customers in Wamego, Kansas and the surrounding areas. Starting in 2004, WTC began offering digital cable TV services.

Tom Fulmer, the Customer Relations Manager at WTC says navigating their video service to be at or near profitability has become a top priority, and they are succeeding. According to Fulmer it has not been a question of getting out of video because they know their customers appreciate receiving video from a local company.

Reducing Service Call Expenses

One area that WTC is addressing in closing the video profitability gap is promotion of their live streaming platform to new and existing customers. Fulmer says when a customer can use their own consumer device to access WTC’s video service packages everyone wins. The customer can be on the WTC video service in minutes, and WTC wins because the service call expense of installing a Set Top Box is eliminated.

Just Say No to Absorbing Programming Costs

Fulmer agrees that it is not good business to pay someone for being your customer and WTC has been passing on the programming cost increases annually for many years. Education is key and offering a good narrative as to why video prices go up annually has been well received by WTC customers. Fulmer says when the price increase occurs every February churn is hardly measurable. Most customer reactions are from those who move to a less expensive package without the sports tier. Fulmer says not having contracts makes it easy for them to upgrade again in the fall to watch their college sports.

Advice for Being Profitable in Video

Fulmer’s big advice is to always stay on top of passing through your programming costs, and this will require annual increases in rates. For companies that have been absorbing these costs for years, it is going to be harder to catch up, but it’s something that needs to be done. Another area WTC is looking at is the number of Set-Top-Boxes (STBs) they include in their packages, Fulmer says more than one is not a sustainable model. As more WTC customers move to live streaming the expectation of having a STB in a bedroom or kitchen will diminish and Fulmer hopes they will eventually be able to charge for all of their STBs.

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