DISH Network isn’t exactly hitting its stride with telco resale partners. A couple years back, they lost their prized AT&T partnership and now history is repeating itself as CenturyLink has decided to switch DBS resale partners from DISH to DirecTV. It’s a significant victory for DirecTV, who can now count the top four (soon to be three after the CenturyLink-Qwest merger) U.S. telcos as resale partners.

The CenturyLink move is a similar scenario to AT&T’s selection of DirecTV. Like AT&T, Centurylink was a DISH resale partner during an acquisition process of another large phone company who happened to be a DirecTV resale partner — Qwest in CenturyLink’s case, BellSouth in AT&T’s case. In both cases, it appears DirecTV prevails as the DBS partner of choice for the new merged company. I say appear, because technically the CenturyLink-Qwest deal is not complete.

CenturyLink will continue to serve its DISH customer base, but will stop marketing it as a part of their triple play bundle, or stand alone video option. This leaves DISH with FrontierWindstream, and FairPoint as its largest telco resale partners.

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What’s more interesting to me though is CenturyLink’s IPTV plans, especially after the Qwest acquisition closes. Will they accelerate their IPTV ambitions, or slow them down in favor of more DBS resale? CenturyLink has several IPTV markets up and running, with their CenturyLink Prism product, using the Microsoft Mediaroom platform over DSL. They’re in the process of launching a large market or two, including Las Vegas.

They’ve been tight lipped about their future IPTV plans. Perhaps we’ll learn more on tomorrow’s (August 4th) quarterly earnings conference call.

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2 thoughts on “CenturyLink Dumps DISH, Launches DirecTV – What About IPTV?

  1. I'm considering the change from Cox to CenturyLink Prism, Internet and Phone in Las Vegas. Anyone out there from Las Vegas I'd like to hear the pros & cons. I don't want to be tied into a multi year contract when they still have a lot of problems to fix. Might also consider DirectTV instead of Prism (with CentryLink internet and phone.) Would love to hear your comments. Thanks in advance.

  2. I work for AT&T U-Verse and am also a AT&T U-Verse customer here in San Diego, CA. Century Link's Prism is exactly the same as AT&T U-Verse system and when I mean exact, I mean so exact, the DVR/STBs are the same make/models which are Motorola 1225 model DVR's and 1200 model STB's. It's a Fiber/Copper hybrid network that feeds Fiber-optic cable to a VRAD unit somewhere in your neighborhood, from the VRAD, it's delivered over the existing copper (24-26 gauge telephone wires) lines that feed your phone/DSL service to your home . AT&T launched it's IPTV service 4 years ago. It took about 2 years to get all the bugs (problems) worked out but now that it is, the product is great. We are taking Cox/Time Warner customer's by the thousands each month just in Southern California alone. When you get the product installed, it's important to make sure your DSL copper line to your house has been conditioned for the IPTV service or you'll have lots of problems, and you want to make sure your Coax cable inside your home is RG6, not RG-59. If you can convince your installer to put in Cat5 to all your STB's, that will make your service that much better. I'm not sure about Century Link's download speeds though. I see Century is offering only 10mbps download speed as their highest speed and AT&T offers 24mbps. It's possible they just haven't turned the juice up all the way in their VRADS yet. I would highly recommend you switch from the old cable company to the new IPTV service. It's so much better of a product and a hell of lot faster. Hope this helps you with your decision.

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