& cplSiteName &

Quadruple Play Is Out

Phil Harvey

1:00 PM –- I'm banning the phrase "quadruple play" from Light Reading.

Effective immediately, any editorial mention of quadruple play will be scrubbed, unless it occurs in an otherwise juicy quote, a corporate press release (which we only edit for length), or is used purely for humor.

Seriously, what is the deal with the telecom industry and that stupid, fake phrase?

I like the idea behind triple play. It means something. In baseball, it's a defensive play that suddenly ends an inning by executing three consecutive outs. That said, it's very rare, with only 19 triple plays occurring since the year 2000. It's cool. It's special.

In telecom, the triple play refers to a service provider's ability to provide voice, data, and video services to its customers. And, as in baseball, the telecom triple play is exceeding rare, with one -- sometimes two -- providers in the nation's most populated areas.

Quadruple play, however, is the phrase folks are using to refer to service providers that can deliver voice, video, data, AND mobility. So far this month, the phrase has shown up in 33 corporate press releases that have crossed my desk. So I'm seeing it more than once a day -- and that's scary.

Here's my problem with quadruple play: There is no quadruple play in baseball or any other sport. Labeling something as a quadruple play isn't so much a differentiator is it is an acknowledgement that your company doesn't understand baseball, has difficulty with analogies, or both.

This is as stupid as a CEO saying they'll give "110 percent." They can't. It's mathematically impossible.

More importantly, we should reject the labeling of something as a quadruple play because it fuels this idea that mobility is something special. It's not. Consumers expect nearly every communications service they buy to be portable -- or to at least have a mobile component.

So be advised that the phrase "quadruple play" is under fire on this site. And we're gonna work 8 days a week, 366 days a year, giving 121 percent, until the phrase is gone for good.

— Phil Harvey, Sports Analogies Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Related Stories
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
12/5/2012 | 4:04:48 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out

i agree with you and have never liked quad play but four play is great and sounds sexy/dirty.


EVERYONE like a little four-play!
12/5/2012 | 4:04:47 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
Yes, I got notes from Om Malik (http://daily.gigaom.com) and Andy Abramson about four play.

I'll probably allow it. Especially because all this stuff is nothing but a big tease anyway, right?

12/5/2012 | 4:04:45 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
>> This is as stupid as a CEO saying they'll give "110 percent." They can't. It's mathematically impossible.

It's a relative term. Giving 110% only means that they are going to try 10% more than they've tried in the past. For a lot of CEOs, this is not impossible, rather, it is still under-achieving.

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin
12/5/2012 | 4:04:45 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
Some folks were saying "grand slam" for a while. Of course, that's not an extension of "triple play," but rather the total opposite (nobody gets out, everybody scores).

Plus, in the U.S., "grand slam" is the brand name for a breakfast combo at a really lousy chain of diners.
12/5/2012 | 4:04:44 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
re: "only means that they are going to try 10% more than they've tried in the past. For a lot of CEOs, this is not impossible, rather, it is still under-achieving."

That's funny. Thanks.

I should add that athletes say the 110 percent thing a lot, too. And I usually don't take it to mean they weren't trying as hard as they could.
12/5/2012 | 4:04:44 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
re: "Plus, in the U.S., 'grand slam' is the brand name for a breakfast combo at a really lousy chain of diners."

Maybe we should call a combo of voice, video, and data a "rooty tooty" instead.

12/5/2012 | 4:04:40 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
I liken it to turning an amplifier to "11". You know, for when you need that little extra umph.
12/5/2012 | 3:37:13 AM
re: Quadruple Play Is Out
now i came across this article recently, a little late, but i just want to make one thing clear. to say there is no such thing as a quadruple play in baseball would not be accurate

now i kno half the people out there cant even correctly explain the infield fly rule, drop third strike, and all these weird rules... and prob more half of them can't identify what a quadruple play is in baseball

so here we go... takes a deep breath

basses loaded none out (obviously)
lined shot into the outfield, and the guy makes a miraculous catch. now the runners need to run back to their bases. The guy on third tags up and scores easily, but the other two runners do not get back to their bases before the ball does, so to second then to first to complete the triple play. however, that run scored, and it is recorded in the official scoring, but, it was seen by the manager that the guy on third left his base too early and he instructs the first baseman to throw it to the third baseman to step on third and appeal the run. the umpire punches the guy out and the run has to be taken away. now in the official scoring, you have a triple play and record exactly who got out, but you must account and explain why that run didnt score, the guy who scored has to be called out, though three outs have alrdy been recorded and in the same inning's column, u must record a fourth out thus completing the quadruple play...

now normally when theres three outs, theres no reason to complete the quadruple play, because it wont do anything, it doesnt count.. but in this case it was the difference of a run, and that is why the fourth out matters in this case and must be recorded

now i kno basically only umpires know of this, and i kno they are not your target audience with your articles, so i agree to get rid of it because if everyone knew about the quadruple play, then they would start saying quintuple play

so i am for you with agreeing to get rid of it, but i just wanted to inform you that when you said it wasn't possible that it actually is
More Blogs from The Philter
The US government's push to invest in open radio access networks is part of a broader effort – and multiple $1B proposals – to beat the Chinese telecom industrial complex.
Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner has another #CES2020 update. In this episode, we get a Quibi keynote recap, more info on next-gen TV and where we might see 8K in action.
At #CES2020, Jeff Baumgartner reports on streaming video deals that include broadband service providers as key distribution partners. Maybe this is the silver lining as traditional pay-TV keeps losing subscribers.
We discuss HBO Max, Peacock and more as the week of #CES2020 gets under way and service providers continue to stake their claims in the consumer subscription video business.
The optical networking leader is pounding the table for webscale providers and telcos to move straight to 800G in the coming year, minimizing the competitive momentum of several vendors in the 600G space.
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
April 20, 2020, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
May 18, 2020, Hackberry Creek Country Club, Irving, Texas
September 15-16, 2020, The Westin Westminster, Denver
All Upcoming Live Events
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Challenges & Key Issues of Constructing 'MEC-Ready' 5G Bearer Networks for Carriers
By Dr. Song Jun, Senior Solution Architect, Huawei Datacom Product Line
Good Measures for 5G Service Assurance
By Tomer Ilan, Senior Director of Product Management, RADCOM
Automation Scores Against Operational Costs – The Business Benefits of Automation and Orchestration
By John Malzahn, Senior Manager, Service Provider Product Marketing, Cisco Systems
All Partner Perspectives