Time Warner Cable Dangling Free Xboxes To Entice Customers To Sign Up At Best Buy

People want free stuff. Cable companies need new customers. Best Buy really, really needs shoppers to set foot in its stores. These three facts have all resulted in a promotion that has TWC offering up free Xbox 360s to new customers who sign up for its Triple Play package while visiting Best Buy.

The deal requires customers to sign up for Triple Play (phone, cable, Internet) service between now and January 5 through a participating Best Buy store. Customers will also get a $150 Best Buy gift card; people who feel compelled to sign up for TWC’s Signature Home service score a $500 gift card to the retailer.

So TWC gets a new customer, Best Buy gets foot traffic and locked-in customers with the gift cards, and the customer gets free stuff. That’s assuming you actually want cable and aren’t already one of the millions who own an Xbox.

While some would question TWC’s decision to give out a device that some say encourages cord-cutting, as it offers access to services like Netflix and Hulu, the folks at FierceCable.com think this may be a long-term move by the cable company to have customers replace their set-top boxes with third-party devices:

But putting more Xbox consoles in Time Warner Cable homes could eventually help the MSO reduce capital spending on cable set-tops since subscribers may be able to access its subscription video packages through the gaming console. Time Warner Cable already allows HBO subscribers with an Xbox to access HBO Go through the gaming console. And CEO Glenn Britt has said the MSO would support user interfaces developed by consumer electronics companies.

TWC is all about cutting down on its hardware costs these days. As you probably know, TWC recently started rolling out a controversial modem-rental fee for customers that can be avoided if the customer buys their own modems.