The shutdown of the IP-Prime wholesale IPTV service, announced just before 2008 ended, had the potential to derail an entire TV movement among smaller telcos. However, several other companies jumped in to help dozens of IP-Prime carrier customers make safe transitions to new platforms. These saviors included companies like Avail Media and EchoStar.
However, the biggest news on this front was the May merger of Avail Media and TVN Entertainment, with the subsequent investment in the venture by the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. The deal not only gave rural telcos an obvious video path in the aftermath of IP-Prime's demise, it also suggested that those telcos might be ready for a more complex offering of both traditional linear programming (Avail's strength) and video-on-demand content (TVN's strength).
NRTC's offering to its members, since rebranded as TelcoVideo, ultimately is providing telcos who would not otherwise consider a TV offering on their own with a trusted partner to help them along.
Avail and TVN announced their merger in May
Rural telcos turned to their associations for TV help
Canby Telcom migrated from IP-Prime to EchoStar
EchoStar chased new business after IP-Prime failed
Avail had collected at least 34 IP-Prime customers by mid-year