In February, I noted that Now Broadband TV (owned by PCCW) were offering 5 months free on their Mega Sports Pack if you committed to an 18 month contract.
I hestitated (well, it's what I'm best at), first deciding to wait till the last day and then deciding to wait and see if the offer was extended. It was.
Then they reduced it to 3 months free, and I was seriously considering subscribing on the last day of the offer (15 May). I forgot, and now it's down to 1 month free, and maybe that expires today.
The reason I keep hesitating is that these "free" months are not all that attractive. If I'd really wanted Star Sports & ESPN, I'd have subscribed when they only cost HK$68 per month - the only thing I really want is the EPL coverage and that won't start until August, so why bother subcribing before then?
The other unknown is what they are offering for $178 per month. Their adverts hint at a high definition channel to come, which will cost extra, and I fully expect them to have an on-demand service (as they do for the Champions League), but it's not clear whether it will be included or not. Will they show all the games in full, as Cable TV currently do on Channel 63?
I used to think that Now Broadband TV were better than Cable TV because at least it was possible to choose which channels you wanted. Except that it doesn't seem such a good thing any more, because there's nothing to stop PCCW adding more channels with extra bits of EPL coverage and charging more for them.
It's a common trick of all sorts of companies to offer an assortment of limited-time offers, and I really wonder whether it works. The problem is that you never know whether a better offer will be available if you wait a few more weeks - and if you do sign up and then find that you could have saved money by waiting then you aren't going to be very happy.
Magazines seem to be the worst offenders here, with hyperactive marketing departments offering this or that free gift if you sign up (my recent favourite is a USB cup warmer), and seducing you with promises of "professional discounts" and "best deals". How do people resist?
The discounts for magazines such as Fortune are so high that it's obvious that individual copies must be over-priced in order that they can conjure up these ridiculous "discounts" and persuade you to subscribe. Why would I buy a copy for HK$70 (or whatever they charge) when I know that a subscriber is paying less than HK$20? It makes no sense.