Bright House Networks is apparently feeling the competitive heat coming from increasingly aggressive IPTV players AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) Prism TV in the Central Florida marketplace.
While Bright House spokesman Donald Forbes told the Orlando Sentinel that it would be "inaccurate to make the premise that Bright House Networks is losing subscribers," no one is denying that AT&T and CenturyLink are trying hard to change that through an aggressive marketing campaign and more Internet-related capabilities offered through their TV service.
Figuring out who has how many subscribers in the region is difficult, since none of the involved parties would release customer numbers. CenturyLink spokeswoman Lisa Willis did admit Orlando is "one of Prism TV's largest and fastest growing markets in the U.S." Making things even tougher for Bright House is the fact that both telco players only compete with the cable operator, not each other.
Bright House hasn't sat back while IPTV players attempt to invade their markets. The MSO has added more high definition channels and "other improvements," the newspaper said, including the NFL Network. Still, the interlopers are providing enough to attract customers away from the MSO.
"I got tired of the cable prices and wanted something different, which is why I switched to Prism TV," Elena Martinez-Ferrer, 34, told the newspaper. "I wanted a little more for my buck, like Facebook, apps and better navigation."
"I really like playing games and find that's what I do most so it's easier for me to just do everything through my Xbox," AT&T U-verse customer Victor Llanes said. "I like having the ability to use less boxes on my TV."
Those online characteristics are part of the speed equation that is pulling customers away from the MSO and toward the IPTV players. Among other things, the newspaper said, channel changing is faster on IPTV services because the telcos use fiber instead of coaxial cable.
"Changing channels on Prism TV is lightning fast," the newspaper story said. "There's virtually no lag from one channel to the other. U-verse has a slight delay, but it's nothing compared with the temporary black screen shown between channels on Bright House Networks."
- the Orlando Sentinel ran this story
Bright House Networks adds $2 monthly modem fee
CenturyLink turns on IPTV channel in Orlando