CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is not exactly the telco that cable TV operators have been most worried about as a pay-TV competitor, as the company did not even have much of an IPTV strategy until the last couple of years. However, that may change if the company continues its rapid expansion into core cable TV markets.
The telco is making its latest competitive foray in Colorado, where the cable TV industry's roots run particularly deep, and where CenturyLink gained a foothold through its acquisition of Qwest Communications.
CenturyLink, which also offers satellite video through a DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) partnership, has applied for a video franchise in Colorado Springs, an application that will be subject to a hearing June 26 before the City Council considers the franchise bid July 10. If it earns the franchise, it will go head to head in the market with industry leader Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).
The telco also recently gained franchise approval in Monument, Colo., and is in the midst of filling similar applications in other Colorado markets. CenturyLink said it aims to offer TV services in Colorado Springs by early 2013, and pledged to cover 22 percent of the market over the span of three years.
For CenturyLink, the Colorado market movement follows its confirmation back in January that it would push IPTV into native markets of Qwest, another telco that had stayed away from IPTV investment for many years. With CenturyLink seemingly committed to making the necessary investment now, cable TV operators may have a new threat to consider.
- read this Colorado Springs Gazette story
CenturyLink saw strong growth for IPTV last quarter
CenturyLink committed to bring IPTV to Qwest markets