Oct. 10 - Cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast are selling home security services to boost revenues and prevent customers from cutting the cord. Fred Katayama reports.
You may hate the cable guy, but he could help you ward off robbers and monitor your nanny. Time Warner Cable just launched its home security business in its largest untapped market, New York. Cable companies such as it, Comcast and Cox are tapping security not only to boost their revenues but also to keep customers from cutting the cord. They're taking on traditional providers like ADT and Monitronics in the $13 billion home security market by undercutting them in price. They charge $30 to $50 a month. By offering discounts as part of a bundled package with phone, internet and cable, the cable companies are making it tougher for customers to leave. Industry stats show subscribers to home security services tend to stay for 7 to 8 years. These added security lines could boost their bottom lines. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts the home security business could add $20 to Time Warner Cable's stock and $5 to Comcast's. But other analysts think it'll take time to gain the trust of customers who envision the cable technician coming late but expect the police to come in 5 minutes. Then again, once you're hooked up, you can keep an eye on the cable guy the next time he comes and see what time he checks in.