CenturyLink to expand trial of skinny OTT platform 

Lobby of the Technology Center of Excellence (Source: CenturyLink)

CenturyLink said it will “move forward” with testing of app-based, skinny OTT programming platform. 

“With regard to the over-the-top products, we are going to be going forward with skinny bundles,” said Dean Douglas, president of sales and marketing for CenturyLink, speaking during the company’s second-quarter earnings call Wednesday. 

“We piloted this in one market, and we expect to go forward with a broader pilot towards the end of the year and really test the market in terms of pricing as well as the ability to penetrate the marketplace with this OTT offering to compliment what we have in the Prism markets.”

In March, CenturyLink confirmed that it was testing an unmanaged network streaming service, Prism Stream, in four unnamed markets, existing outside the footprint for its PrismTV IPTV service.

CenturyLink said it’s including local feeds of the Big Four broadcast networks in the streaming platform.

“We think that will be a differentiator as we bring those local channels with the over-the-top cable channels,” said operator President and CEO Glenn Post, also during this week’s earnings call.

Also speaking during the call, CenturyLink CTO Aamir Hussain said programming deals for the new service are still being worked out.

“The key for getting the skinny bundles to work is having the right level of programming agreements in place,” he said. “Today on Prism TV service we buy through NCTC. When we launch our TV over-the-top offering, that offering we are negotiating brand new agreements with the broadcasters. And those agreements are not bound by any caps or by franchise agreements. So these are non-franchise-type agreements. They allow us to pretty much have a nationwide reach. And the top four or five, we are doing very, very well on those agreements and we really, really feel very comfortable with the timeline that we have provided.”

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