With more and more customers fleeing, cable companies have claimed that customers are just reacting to the recession, not the growth of viewing opportunities on the Internet. But, next week, Time Warner Cable is launching a trial of a stripped-down, cheaper cable package, which the NY Times believes is "an apparent attempt to retain cable customers who are thinking of canceling, or to woo back people who have already canceled."

According to the Times, "For roughly half the cost of Time Warner Cable’s current cable TV package, customers will receive ESPN News but not ESPN; TBS but not TNT; CNN but not Fox News or MSNBC. A market trial will begin in New York on Monday, a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said, and in the company’s northeastern Ohio market on Dec. 15." Other cable channels it will include are MTV, Nickelodeon, HGTV, Cooking Channel, FX, Bravo and USA.

The package, called TV Essentials, will go for about $40 in NYC (and $30 in Ohio) while the digital starter cable package costs $60 in NYC.