& cplSiteName &

WOW Cozying Up to OTT With Good Reason

Carol Wilson
3/28/2014
50%
50%

The once-combative stance between broadband service providers and over-the-top content and application providers has eased significantly over the past year, as both sides have come to appreciate the value the other brings to what is potentially a profitable relationship.

For many broadband ISPs, a changing attitude is the result of recognition that broadband is, in fact, their primary business -- and that's a major shift for companies that have thought of themselves as cable TV companies or phone companies. At two very different events this winter -- and sorry, I live in the Chicago area and it's still winter -- I have heard first a group of small telcos and then a group of large cable operators admit that they are primarily in the business of delivering ever-faster pipes into businesses and residences.

One of the final panels of Thursday's Next-Gen Cable Technologies and Strategies conference in Denver was probably the most vivid illustration of this change, and John Childress, Director, Product Management, Residential, WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) , its most articulate advocate.

While sharing the stage with representatives of OTT content providers ToonGoggles and Pandora Media Inc. , and OTT enablers Roku Inc. and QuickPlay Media Inc. , Childress said he sees WOW's role, in part, as helping enable its consumer customers to discover and more easily access the widest range of content and applications available to them.

"It's a very fragmented experience today," Childress noted. "There's the set-top box with VoD, the DVR, then all these other boxes -- like Roku and others. No one is bringing that altogether for the consumer. Over the next year, we want to see if we can do that, and bring the same experience to the consumer over all devices."

As an individual who regularly has to dig through the basket of remote control devices on the end-table in the family room to find the one which allows me to reset the input on my TV to the cable box from whatever online video source SOMEONE was watching before me, this is an attractive proposition.

But as Childress and moderator Alan Breznick, Light Reading's cable/video practice leader, noted, for cable providers, the seamless experience may be a lifesaver for their video content delivery business. If online video becomes part of the cable service and is delivered seamlessly, as opposed to thorough a parallel but separate connection, consumers like me will see the greater value of the cable/broadband provider's role.

And higher customer satisfaction is never a bad thing.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/8/2014 | 6:49:41 PM
Re: Hopefully
MarkC73: "At least there's movement in getting to select your own content, as well as mobility in the TV world.  Unlike the music world that needed a crisis to make it start content delivery changes."

I don't see a lot of movement in that direction. Consumers still need to buy whole channels, or packages of channels, to get access to prime premium content. Otherwise they can wait a year for individual episodes of individual programs to become available legally.

 

 
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/30/2014 | 9:17:17 AM
Re: Hopefully
At least there's movement in getting to select your own content, as well as mobility in the TV world.  Unlike the music world that needed a crisis to make it start content delivery changes.  Those cable packages and the channels you pay for but don't watch keep the balance of the universe, for now.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/29/2014 | 10:06:27 AM
Re: Hopefully
You could always buy the Blu-rays, Mitch.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/29/2014 | 10:05:12 AM
Re: Big and dumb is smart again
OTT now looks like it will be far more damaging long-term to the big video content providers than to network operators -- at least the operators that figure out there's more profit in doing the plumbing rather than filling the pipes.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/28/2014 | 9:17:43 PM
Re: Big and dumb is smart again
People are actually saying that. At the NTCA event I attended in early March, rural telcos were saying they make NO money selling video - in fact they lose money -- so they are looking to SkitterTV Roku and others to deliver a video product that drives up demand for their higher-speed tiers of broadband. And they can make a profit on broadband. 

At the cable event, one person said this a lot - Alan Breznick - and Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia as well. But you can also follow their actrions. The cable industry is investing heavily in figuring out efficient ways to deliver more bandwidth to businesses and to consumers. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/28/2014 | 4:06:37 PM
Hopefully
It would be lovely if carriers, OTT providers, and content companies could join together to start offering channels and individual programs a la carte. A consumer shouldn't have to sign up for a bajillion foreign-language channels (in languages the consumer does not speak), a gazillion sports channels, and forty-eleven home shopping channels just to watch Mad Men.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/28/2014 | 2:33:02 PM
Big and dumb is smart again
Carol, so the pendulum appears to have swung back to the idea that being the arms merchant (i.e., supplying the broadband capacity) is a better business to be in than trying to claw out a space in low-margin markets like video services. Is anybody actually saying that, or do we let the actions speak for themselves?
thebulk
100%
0%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/28/2014 | 2:10:11 PM
About time
Glad to see this relationship changing for the better, I think OTT content can bring a lot of value to cable for both content and experience. 
More Blogs from Rewired
A quick trip in the Wilson way-back machine shows telecom operators have been at this a long time, maybe too long?
Russo, the man who cashed in pretty quickly on his first major success, Cerent, is leading a much longer-term effort to bring software-defined networking to the access realm at Calix.
SD-WAN market set to surge but it's not replacing MPLS anytime soon, and there will be security and operational challenges ahead, according to a 451 Research survey.
Lowell McAdam says cable merger no longer seems likely but is still open to other ideas – like a Comcast merger.
Harmonization, minding the product gap, getting 5G right, mimicking Red Hat and praising the Linux Foundation's expanded role all make the list.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
Can Mushroom Sprout in Crowded SD-WAN Field?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/18/2017
AI Will Be Ubiquitous in 2020 but Overhyped in 2017 – Gartner
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 7/18/2017
Comcast Accelerates Into 15 IoT Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/18/2017
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Fuzzy Quick Fix Click Here
If you can't access it, is it really broken?
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.