Telco TV talent chase begins

To many folks in the telco TV sector, the throngs of online TV and video players may appear to be no more than that: Throngs of little companies with perhaps slightly differentiated ideas about how to best stream video over the Internet or what combination of traditional TV, movies and original online video content makes the most sense.

Move Networks is doing its best to jump out ahead of the throngs and distinguish itself. One good way to do that is to capture an IPTV deal with a major service provider, which Move did last month when it landed a gig with Cable & Wireless. Another good way to do that is to steal big-name talent from well-established TV service providers. Move also has accomplished that, announcing this week that it has hired AT&T U-verse TV executive Guy Beverlin as its new executive vice president of operations.

In a way, the hiring is a complement to AT&T, suggesting that its once-fledging telco TV service has matured so much that uptart firms in the sector are now looking to the telcos as a source of well-established TV talent. However, Beverlin is no Bellhead-lifer, having joined AT&T's U-verse TV effort after a stint running satellite TV company DirecTV's broadcast operations center. So, it could be said that what the upstart telco TV players took from the more established TV providers, the new generation of online players may take from the telcos.

Among other challenges, that is a threat that the telco TV players would do well to acknowledge as they attempt to take their TV offerings to the next level. Some of the new online players will be their partners, some will be competitors, some will be both, and all may be looking to recruit the executive, marketing and engineering talent that has helped to make their TV efforts successful.