Notes from a busy week

It's been a pretty busy week in IPTV, telco TV and all the other TV service provider segments we touch upon. Here are some quick thoughts on just a few of this week's headlines:

--Microsoft used server virtualization to help reduce the server and cost demands for companies deploying the Mediaroom platform. Over the last 15 or so years, Microsoft has flirted with the telco market in a variety of ways, but this arguably could be the software giant's most effective move yet in opening it to the possible of working with more telcos, particularly the smaller one who couldn't afford Mediaroom before. Overall, it seems like the cost of building out IPTV is coming down, and with some rural telcos growing through consolidation, I like the odds of an IPTV market surge in the coming months.

--There has been a resurgence of rumors that DirecTV could be an acquisition target for AT&T, particularly if the satellite TV firm's CEO moves over to News Corp. This speculation comes not long after observation that a complex merger with Liberty Entertainment might be positioning DirecTV for a bigger deal. I still wonder how such a deal would affect DirecTV's array of telco partnerships. Also, why would AT&T need to completely own DirecTV itself? What about the possibility that multiple telcos could invest in DirecTV?

--Telecom Italia reportedly is set to move into the top market position in Italy's IPTV sector. The incumbent telco started slowly in a fairly crowded market for IPTV, but has jumped ahead. Maybe that shows that incumbent telcos ultimately have the edge in IPTV, assuming they can get their "stuff" together. The more interesting thing this year on the Italian front, however, was a promotional alliance formed by Italy's IPTV service providers as they face off against the dominant TV player Sky Italia. Sounds like something U.S. telcos could pursue as they continue to take on the cable TV giants.