Qwest: We Still Don't Need No Stinkin' IPTV
Execs continue to insist 'over the top' video is the right path....
Despite being one of the early pioneers of telco TV (not too long ago they shut down
their VDSL-based IPTV service ChoiceTV), Qwest continues to insist that unlike other Ma Bell offshoots AT&T and Verizon, Qwest has absolutely no interest in becoming a TV provider. While Qwest is sometimes criticized for playing wait-and-see with video, the decision could ultimately come back to be the right one if "over the top" Internet video-delivery winds up trumping IPTV projects like AT&T's U-Verse. Qwest's EVP for product and IT Neil Cox continues to insist
Qwest is making teh right call:
"Only sports need to be live," Cox said. "We see these walled-garden IPTV models breaking down. We see a tremendous amount of over-the-top video." For that reason, Qwest will continue to partner with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), which has added an Ethernet jack to its newest DVR/set-top receiver to bring broadband content to the TV set "to provide a really rich customer experience," said Cox. Even sports programming is moving to the online model, he said, citing Major League Baseball's successful online video efforts.
Of course this repeated "no stinkin' IPTV" mantra by Qwest kind of ignores the fact that they couldn't afford to become an IPTV provider even if they wanted to. While recent Qwest ads highlight the fact Qwest is a broadband company offering "fiber optic Internet service
," their still-copper-based services (which top out at 40 Mbps for $99-$110 a month) reach only a small portion of their overall subscriber base. Why? In a significant number of their markets they lack the competition to make offering the "latest and greatest" necessary in the first place.
So while Qwest likes to portray their avoidance of IPTV as some kind of precognitive wisdom, it has more to do with tight purse strings and the fact that Qwest is lucky enough to be in a competitive position where "sitting back and waiting" (be it IPTV or network upgrades) is even an option. Meanwhile, it remains possible this measured approach is also about Qwest biding their time, playing it safe, cleaning up their debt, and making themselves attractive to a possible suitor like Verizon.
They got ONE thing right! The ONLY TV that has to be live is sports! Period. The concept of 'prime time' and 'must see tv' will die soon enough. Let's let TV shows stand on their own, instead of riding the coattails of others. I for one, WOULD be willing to pay comcast $50.00 a month, if they would let me download in a DRM free, high quality format, any TV show they broadcast. Guess what, the networks will get paid based upon the number of downloads a TV show gets. That means that the people (not some stupid nealson rating) will determine what shows continue. I for one, despise american idol and the like, and would never download them. But the shows I do like, are always cancelled by short sighted fat cat coke snorting network pigs.
Republicans : Ignorant, illiterate, whacked out hillbillies with nothing to lose. More viewers for FOX news.