announced the launch of to markets in 25 states. The service will provide 24 channels of real time, live television, delivered to the PC. There is also a PC VOD option with “thousands of titles.” Content choices include news, weather, sports, history, financial reports, comedy, children’s programs, movies, and TV classics. The content is delivered by both traditional media outlets like Fox News and A&E, as well as NetVideo content providers including companies like blip.tv. CenturyTel will charge $19.95/month for the service and $.99/title for VOD.

This is an interesting development and represents one of the largest and most robust NetVideo deployments by a U.S. telecom carrier. Despite the exploding popularity of NetVideo (delivery of video via the Internet), there have been few deployments of this magnitude among U.S. telecom carriers. NetVideo innovation is occurring rapidly, both from a technology perspective and in content availability. NetVideo is one of those “scratch your head” business opportunities, because the business model is not clearly defined. All broadband carriers are constantly looking for applications and features that provide differentiation and competitive advantage. NetVideo may be such an application. Some opinions see NetVideo as a complimentary service to traditional subscription multi-channel video services. More enthusiastic views see NetVideo eventually replacing traditional content distribution methods. CenturyTel launched this application a while ago, and maybe they have learned something. Others really question whether there is a subscription model for BroadbandTV. Thanks to CenturyTel, we’re about to find out.

View a demo of CenturyTel’s BroadbandTV application here.

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2 thoughts on “CenturyTel Takes the NetVideo Plunge

  1. I’m not sure this will work. Will subscribers add $20/month to their video bill to get this stuff on their PC, when they can get much it for free? And, if your going after the market that doesn’t have cable, I don’t think it’s large enough to build a business on. Maybe centurytel knows something the rest of us don’t, but I’m pretty skeptical that this will work.

  2. I give them credit. There is all this talk about broadband TV, but little action – at least among telcos. Centurytel has at least pulled the trigger. Everyone will owe them a debt of gratitude, because we will get a real world labarotory on broadband tv. Let’s see what they find out. I hope they will share!

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