CenturyTel announced the launch of BroadbandTV 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.