CenturyLink sets video sights on Centennial, Colo.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) wants to set up an IPTV video franchise in Centennial, Colo., according to a municipal official who said the telco/IPTV service provider expressed interest in the city at the end of August but hasn't yet submitted official paperwork.

According to an article in the Denver Post, however, that's just another step in a process that's going to go forward as CenturyLink starts to make its video mark in the Denver/Colorado Springs area. In fact, in a move that cable old-timers are bound to consider heresy, Denver officials also apparently met with the telco and said the city--once considered cable's capital before Comcast started buying up everything--would be interested in negotiating a deal.

"In this age of deregulation of cable service, cities including Denver like residents to have true competitive choices for their video services," Darryn Zuehlke, director of Denver's cable franchising division, told the newspaper. "Having CenturyLink as a true wireline cable service competitor to Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), we think will provide more programming choices and hopefully stability of rates."

That hasn't always been the case.

It will be interesting to see what sorts of restrictions the cities put on CenturyLink when they come to franchise agreements. For the most part, cable companies that were first in were expected to cable entire cities and provide service to all neighborhoods. Some latecomers have not had those exacting demands, leading cable operators to occasionally howl about cherry-picking.

Anyway, CenturyLink has already secured agreements in Colorado Springs and is "in the process" of renewing a franchise agreement with Douglas County, where the former Qwest--prior to its acquisition by CenturyLink--offered cable service to the Highlands Ranch neighborhood until 2008.

CenturyLink had told the newspaper in August that it would launch its TV service in one legacy Qwest market by the end of the year but didn't disclose that market. Now there are at least two in the running.

For more:
- the Denver Post has this story

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