McAdam: Verizon is an 'applications and distribution company'

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has no plans to mimic its biggest cable competitor, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), and acquire an entertainment/programming source, the telco's president-COO Lowell McAdam said during a wide-ranging Q&A with Tampa Bay Online.

"I see us as an applications and distribution company," he said. "Content has a tendency to come and go (and) we don't have a skill set inside our business to go and buy an NBC. That's not us."

Besides, he said, enveloping Comcast and CBS--a company occasionally rumored to be in Verizon's sights--in one statement. "I frankly don't want to have to deal with (former CBS thorn-in-the-side) Charlie Sheen. We don't own sports teams for that same reason." Comcast owns the NBA Philadelphia 76ers and NFL Philadelphia Flyers.

As a distribution company, Verizon has not abandoned FiOS and "our goal has always been about 18 million homes passed," said McAdam, who is in line to replace chairman-CEO Ivan Seidenberg when he retires. McAdam did not rule out extending the video service into some "marginal" areas, but emphasized that the goal now is to "get greater penetration (and) that allows you to get additional efficiencies."

McAdam admitted that Verizon is taking a tack that clearly mirrors cable. "We are moving from a voice company to a data company," he said, noting that "video is nothing more than more 0's and 1's to move ... so it's a data service."

For more:
- Tampa Bay Online has this story

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