Shortly after his company announced last week that virtual versions of DirecTV's pay-TV services will launch in the fourth quarter, AT&T (NYSE: T) Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey declared, "We didn't buy DirecTV because we love satellite as a distribution medium."
Indeed, with every major pay-TV operator either testing — or in full deployment — of an IP-based deployment, it is clear that the industry is no longer beholden to the infrastructures that originally got them into the business.
In FierceCable's latest special report, we look at all of these fledgling — and in some cases, not that fledgling — virtual efforts. Some operators, notably Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), say delivering robust packages of channels over managed networks isn't OTT at all. It's merely a way of mitigating CPE costs.
Other operators, including DirecTV, Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), say it's a way of reaching about 20 million consumers who pay for broadband but not video services.
Whatever the stated goal, affordable packages of channels delivered over the Internet, requiring no credit check or truck roll, appears to be a business model for which consumers are ready.
In our special report, we chart 10 services, some of them not from traditional cable, satellite and telco operators, which are leading pay-TV's IP-based revolution.—Daniel