CenturyLink confirms it is testing low-cost OTT skinny bundle for millennials

Count CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) among the pay-TV operators testing skinny programming bundles delivered over-the-top.

Speaking during the operator's third-quarter earnings call, company President and CEO Glen Post confirmed the carrier is testing a new OTT video product. 

"We're also working on an over-the-top offering that [we began] trialing in the third quarter that we hope to roll out on a trial basis in two or three markets, latter part of this year and early next year, that we think will help us with the millennials and be a lower-cost option from the standpoint of the way we roll it out than our Prism product is today," Post said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) have recently revealed similar OTT trials of their own. Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announced such a test over the summer, and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) launched an over-the-top product, Sling TV, in February, based largely on its three years in the marketplace with an international streaming product called Dish World. 

According to CenturyLink CTO Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink is looking at two models for its OTT trials: "One is a skinny bundle with local, linear and premium [programming]," he said. "And it will have upsell opportunity for a kid's package, entertainment package and we are looking at multiple options there."

For the second product, he said, "[What] we are looking to do is in our franchise markets where we have Prism rights, just taking the same content and offering it on an over-the-top content along with an aggregation of other video services which are used by our customers today."

CenturyLink added 11,700 subscribers to its Prism IPTV service in the third quarter. However, the company lost 37,000 broadband customers due to its efforts to tighten the credit and collection policy on its broadband subscriber base. The service provider ended the third-quarter with nearly 6.1 million broadband customers.

"We continue to see good results in those markets where we have deployed higher broadband speeds and Prism TV services," Post said. "Specifically in our markets with fiber to the prem, including GPON, the take rates continue to be strong and are exceeding our expectations."

For more:
- see this FierceTelecom article
- read this Seeking Alpha transcript

Related articles:
CenturyLink drops 37K broadband customers as it tightens credit policies
TWC's Marcus: Streaming strategy is about getting rid of set-tops, not skinny bundles
Report: TWC's new streaming-only skinny bundle for NYC starts at $10/month, offers 20 channels

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