As part owner of satellite provider DirecTV, and chairman of Liberty Global, which owns cable operations in 14 countries outside the U.S., John Malone carries a ponderous weight among the pay-TV crowd. He threw it around a bit last week at a Liberty investors' meeting, talking trash about Verizon's FiOS service.
Malone lambasted the Verizon fiber service--which has received pretty good marks from consumers who've been able to get hooked up to it--for atrociously bad ARPU and for overbuilding, along with AT&T, fiber networks. It's a strategy, he says that "always ends up badly."
"The most dangerous thing in business is an irrational rich competitor," he said. "So, don't ever discount that somebody can do things for non-financial reasons."
Verizon, meanwhile, says it's happy with where its FiOS platform is headed and said it will offer the service to about 18 million households by years end, up from the current 12 million households it serves; about 25 percent of the households where FiOS service is available. Few telcos in Europe offer TV service currently, although the number of IPTV households there are increasing.
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