Continue to mess with the bull, and you get the horns … all over again. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) found that out the hard way, several days after rekindling a PR war with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) over network streaming performance.
On Monday, July 14, Netflix released June data showing that its streaming speeds over Verizon's FiOS network had dropped 17 percent in one month to 1.58 Mbps. Netflix's latest ISP speed ranking also noted that the SVOD company's streaming performance over the ISP has declined nearly 30 percent since January. (In the middle of this timeline, April, Netflix and Verizon made an interconnection deal, but the technical execution of that arrangement is a ways from being worked out.)
Netflix noted Monday that Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Cox and Suddenlink "continue to lead the index while showing steady improvement over the last three months." This subtly belied Verizon's Friday, July 11 claim that Netflix's issues over its network have to do with the interconnection partners the streaming service chooses, not the Verizon network. These interconnection partners, which include Level 3, also liaison Netflix's traffic with Cablevision, Cox and Suddenlink, of course.
Notably, Netflix's streaming performance was even worse over AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse, with Netflix speeds averaging 1.50 Mbps in June. Led by legislative affairs chief Jim Cicconi, AT&T has chosen to engage Netflix in blog-to-blog rhetoric over the broader net neutrality issue, but unlike Verizon, seems to wisely stay away from the topic of specific streaming performance over its network.
For its part, Verizon has kept the spotlight pointed on itself and has paid the PR price, as this headline from tech blog BGR.com--picked up by the Yahoo news feed Monday--shows: "Netflix streaming on Verizon just keeps getting worse."
Let it go? Heck no--Verizon says congestion caused by Netflix transit providers
Responding to Netflix PR stunts 101: Don't get into a fight you can't win
Verizon says it's working with Netflix to improve streaming quality