AT&T (NYSE: T) appears to be considering launching some type of streaming video service that would bundle local broadcast channels, popular sports and entertainment cable channels and other content that would not require a receiver box.
According to Variety, the company sent a customer survey to existing AT&T U-verse customers asking if they would be interested in signing up for, or even inquiring about, a type of service that would be offered at a lower price and without usage charges for streaming. The survey said that a Wi-Fi router and 6-megabits of Internet service would be included.
It's unclear whether AT&T would offer this service or if it would be offered by another broadband provider. However, the product described by AT&T sounds similar to a virtual MSO model that has been talked about in the cable industry, in which a cable provider would be able to deliver content outside its existing territory.
Just last month a Roku executive speaking at Light Reading Cable's "Cable Next-Gen IP Strategies: Entering the Zettabyte Era" conference in Denver said he believes that if the virtual MSO model does come to fruition it will be with companies that offer specialty packages to attract specific audiences, such as a package without sports programming. "I think this will be more of an opportunity than a threat," said Steve Shannon, senior vice president and general manager of Roku's content division.
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