Qwest customers may see IPTV through CenturyTel after merger

Qwest customers in the company's 11-state coverage area likely will be getting IPTV from CenturyTel as a result of the $10.6 billion merger announced last week. Century Tel agreed to purchase Qwest in an all-stock deal for 50.5 percent of Qwest's stock that will give the combined company a presence in 40 states.

Qwest, which currently offers its customers a bundled TV deal through a partnership with DirecTV, says it likely will look at rolling out an IPTV package.

"We believe that there are significant opportunities here to drive new products and services to customers," Qwest CEO Ed Mueller said. "Over time we'll look at the potential of rolling out IPTV."

CenturyTel is testing IPTV service in several of its small markets, including LaCrosse, Wis., Columbia, Mo., and Jefferson City, Mo.

"The scale and reach of the combined company should allow us to more effectively pursue growth opportunities in wireless and data hosting, IPTV and other areas," CenturyTel chief executive Glen Post said in a conference call with analysts Thursday.

CenturyTel currently also bundles satellite TV with is customer offerings, using Dish Network to serve some 535,000 customers. In it's year-end earnings call, the company said it planned to launch five more IPTV markets this year and next. At the time, Post said the company was "pleased with the results" it had seen in its three test markets.

For more:
- see this Denver Post article

Related articles:
CenturyLink, Qwest merger consolidates more of the landline market
CenturyTel to expand IPTV service
IPTV growth in CenturyLink's future