Verizon promises mobile video if cable deal approved
Suggests a content streaming service for cable, FiOS and Verizon Wireless customers, which would go beyond current offerings
Published: 2 April, 2012
Verizon is trying to sweeten the pill of its controversial deal with four cablecos by promising a new mobile video service. If the $3.9bn proposal to acquire spectrum from Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable and BrightHouse Networks is approved, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said the company would create a new service, which would enable cable customers to view their programming on mobile devices.
This would accelerate cableco moves towards a quad play offering, which used to focus on their own spectrum plans or their old relationship with Sprint/Clearwire. Now they have given up their own build-out ideas, aiming to sell their frequencies to Verizon and engage in an extensive cross-selling system. The proposals, which would put Verizon in pole position in LTE spectrum and, many argue, in broadband, are being opposed by rival carriers and consumer groups.
McAdam told The Wall Street Journal that the operator would offer an "integrated" mobile video service to the cablecos' customers as well as to subscribers to Verizon's FiOS TV offering and its mobile services. "We could have something out that would be the beginnings of an integrated offering in time for the holidays," he said.
He says the suggested offering would be broader and more flexible than existing mobile streaming services such as Comcast's Xfinity TV, which supports Android and iOS gadgets in the home. "Most content providers realize that the number of channels and the layout that you have within your home may not be appropriate for the mobile environment, and those discussions are just beginning now," he said. Verizon currently offers streaming services as part of FiOS while its mobile arm has Verizon Video, which provides unlimited on-demand access to sports, news and some TV shows from mobile devices.
He added that content partners would be prepared to create a unique proposition, with a la carte pricing, because of the reach of the Verizon/cable alliance and the rising need to take a new approach to accommodate mobility. This might include charging content providers, rather than end users, for the data consumed by their services.