Windstream announced an extension of their resale deal with DISH Network today, although few details of the deal were revealed. “We are pleased to extend our partnership with DISH Network, which is the best value in entertainment today and an important part of our strategy to offer customers a triple-play of phone, broadband and digital TV services,” said Ric Crane, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Windstream.
It it a stretch to read into this release as further affirmation that Windstream intends to sit out the movement to IPTV among telcos for the video portion of the triple play? Among the larger telcos in the U.S. Windstream and Qwest appear to be IPTV holdouts. Truth be told with Windstream, it’s hard to say if they have no IPTV subscribers, given their recent acquisition spree, but the corporate line continues to lean towards DBS resale as the main video component of their triple play strategy.
Other large telcos, while not on an IPTV tear, are at least trialing the service. CenturyLink has active IPTV markets in Missouri and looking to expand beyond that. Frontier will absorb significant telcoTV assets, assuming their Verizon deal goes through. Both TDS and FairPoint also have announced IPTV trials, although it’s difficult to predict where those trials are headed.
Windstream has looked at other video options, including a DSL/TiVo OTT video product bundle back in 2007. But that didn’t appear to gain much traction. I can’t find any reference of the product on Windstream’s website (except the press release announcing it). For now, it appears DISH Network is Windstream’s main video horse.
For DISH, this announcement has to be a good sign, given their real trouble with TiVo patent mess, and the hundreds of millions it may cost them. Windstream obviously feels DISH will make it through this problem, relatively unscathed. Maybe this is a sign that the rumors about DISH’s strategy to fix this mess, namely buying TiVo, are true.