Layer3 is that mysterious pay TV company that is now focused on packaged top channels in souped-up set-top boxes despite the recent move of technology to cordless cable and TV services. And it’s now targeting the more high-end video customers as well.
You could say that they’re more of a channel package service that still utilizes the old school cable TV but using better technology to improve things. The company has agreements to sell top channels from major cable and satellite TV programmers such as Disney, NBC Universal, Viacom, Fox, Discovery, Scripps Networks, HBO, Showtime, and a whole lot more. They can even aggressively blend in cable TV video offering additions like Netflix, Amazon, and can even tie in social media, personal digital media, and other similar content.
Basically, what Layer3 TV is doing is to harness the power of the internet combined with cable TV in order to unify things. It makes things simpler for customers. They can do this by leasing its data network capacity from others, tie in with streaming apps to its set-up top boxes, and send field technicians around to customer’s homes in electric BMW i3 vehicles.
This is amazing considering that Layer3 was only founded 3 years ago in Boston. Two years ago they moved the whole headquarters to lower downtown Denver and just last year opened up shop in Chicago. Also, last year Layer3 TV beta-tested its services in Texas under the brand Umio. Chicago is actually Layer3’s first official market. The move to Denver was due to landing a Colorado Economic Development Commission incentive package worth up to $2.9 million in tax credits over several years if Layer3 can create 312 local jobs.
Layer3 is actually charging between $75 and $120 a month, and this price does not include internet service, which the customers have to buy separately from a telecom or cable provider. Compared to the slimmed down core number of channels that Dish Network’s Sling TV and other streaming services offer, Layer3 offers an entry level package bundle of 200 channels. This includes programming in 4k super high definition format and the ability to add single channels, genre packages of channels of choice, or premium services such as HBO and Showtime.
This innovation on another level is astounding considering that the entry level offers alone offers virtually every major channel on demand and a package that includes the best and most comprehensive collection of the top 50 Nielsen-rated cable and broadcast channels.
Layer3’s investment backers are not ordinary players either. The investor lineup includes major players in the entertainment industry such as North Bridge Venture Partners, Evolution Media Partners, TPG Growth, Creative Artists Agency, and Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media.
And surprisingly, for a rising pay-TV company, Layer3 TV delivers its channels almost entirely over dedicated fiber-optic cables leased from telecom and cable companies. Doing this will keep Layer3 traffic away from the open internet will cross into a local telecom or cable network only if it needs to enter a local customer’s neighborhood. This prevents the bottlenecks and congestion experienced by streaming services like Netflix.