For Telus, Canadian MSOs, cable TV business is important

Here's a riddle. If, as so many have said, cable TV is a dying business, why is a supposedly savvy telecommunications provider like Telus (Toronto: T.TO) investing multiple billions of dollars in fiber optics and the latest consumer technology to challenge the country's incumbent cable operators?

Telus and other telcos in Canada are putting their faith in IPTV as the method to destroy cable's dominance. It is, according to a Telus manager, "where we leave cable behind" in the chase for 6.4 million customers now under the thumbs of incumbents Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR), Rogers Communication (NYSE: RCI) and Videotron.

The cable operators, of course, have a different take. "There's a perception that we're under siege," Shaw President Peter Bissonnette told CTV News. "The differentiation that's taking place right now is, frankly, taking place on price."

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