CenturyLink cleans off Dish, signs up with DirecTV; FiOS users get faster broadband speeds

> CenturyLink, which has no TV entertainment arm of its own and is in the process of acquiring Qwest which, not surprisingly has no TV entertainment arm, has severed its relationship with Dish Network and signed up with DirecTV because the satellite provider offers more features, including the (for Comcast at least) hotly contested NFL Sunday Ticket and a whole-home DVR. Story (sub. req.)

> Verizon FiOS users are paying less and getting more when it comes to broadband speeds. According to DSL Reports, 25 Mbps FiOS customers are "seeing downstream speeds of 30 Mbps or greater" while those on the 35 Mbps tier get up to 43 Mbps. Verizon told the pub that this kind of anomaly is "nothing out of the ordinary." Right. Story.

> Wannachi Group and Cisco have linked up with a multiyear deal to take triple play into six African countries: Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Ethiopia, Sudan and Zambia by September. The firm, which wants to position itself as a one-step "entertainment and Internet connectivity service provider in the region" already has a presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and is moving on South African-based DStv for dominance. Story.

> The Outdoor Channel has selected white label video management publishing company (and Comcast property) thePlatform as its method to manage and publish online video for its website outdoorchannel.com. News release.

And finally... Charter Communications continues to roil beneath the surface--and a little above it--in anticipation of tomorrow's earnings call. The St. Louis MSO named Gregory Rigdon executive VP of corporate development and strategy in charge of supporting Charter's operations and long-term growth. Story.

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