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FiOS TV Director Cuts the Cord

Mari Silbey
12/7/2015
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Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, director of FiOS TV, has a confession, and it doesn't bode well for the future of Verizon's fixed-line video business.

"I've pretty much cut the cord," Krishnaswamy admitted on a panel at the TV of Tomorrow event in New York City.

Krishnaswamy is bullish on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s new Go90 mobile video service, but she readily acknowledges there are major challenges in the traditional pay-TV business. (See Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?)

Young audiences like TV shows, but they don't want to pay a lot to get them. And apparently, neither does Krishnaswamy.

Participants in the TV of Tomorrow NYC event include, from left to right, Luc Perreault, VP at The Weather Network; Sherry Brennan, SVP at Fox Networks; Tony Goncalves, SVP at DirecTV; and Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, director of FiOS TV, Verizon
Participants in the TV of Tomorrow NYC event include, from left to right, Luc Perreault, VP at The Weather Network; Sherry Brennan, SVP at Fox Networks; Tony Goncalves, SVP at DirecTV; and Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, director of FiOS TV, Verizon

The future of all of Verizon's fixed-line businesses has come into question recently with the sale of the company's FiOS footprint in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier, and rumors that Verizon is looking to sell off its enterprise business. (See Verizon Enterprise Sale Would Signal Big Shift.)

Verizon has vehemently denied that it's abandoning both FiOS and enterprise services, but it's also made very clear through its investments that wireless and OTT video are the company's priorities. Krishnaswamy reiterated that notion at the TVOT conference saying, "We are definitely positioning ourselves very clearly for the over-the-top future."

Unfortunately for Verizon, it's not clear that Go90 will gain the traction with millennials that it needs. The two young speakers on the TVOT panel said they had heard of Go90, but hadn't tried it out.

"I'm not too sure why I haven't, I guess I just kind of sometimes get lost in all the new platforms that are launching," said Nina Pablo, Strategy and Business Development Associate at BRaVe Ventures and recent MBA graduate. But she added, "It's definitely on my radar."

For Krishnaswamy, Go90 is not only on the radar, it's getting promotional priority over her own FiOS TV.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/17/2015 | 12:52:51 PM
Re: ha
It may be interesting to watch over coming seasons if the internally produced or owned productions will be enough to allow Amazon, Netflix and others to keep the customers satisfied with not only the content but the subscription pricing as well.
wanlord
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wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/10/2015 | 1:55:23 PM
Re: Go90?
I assume the amount of money they are putting into advertising it means it's pretty low. VZ is an advertising machine and that can work for wireless service, but how many killer Apps out there become that way from advertising them, or just because they are awesome?

 

 
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 9:57:14 PM
Re: ha
> "Comcast owns enough content that it benefits on the one hand from increases in content costs, even as its margins are squeezed on the other side."

Yup. Not owning any of the content puts VZ at a disadvantage. What can they do to differentiate their service? Even Hulu and Amazon are following the path of Netflix and producing their own original series to try to attract customers to stick around.

The new bundles won't be channels as much as binge-worthy dramas.
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 9:48:50 PM
Go90?
Are there any usage stats for G090? I assume it's horribly low. 

What is the value proposition for the end user? You get to be mobile for an additional fee? Don't users who want that already have Sling boxes or other options?
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 9:44:45 PM
Re: ha
If only cord cutters didn't care about privacy and allowed themselves to be tracked online.. so that their attention could be sold to advertisers.... 

I think cablecos/telcos might have to worry about Facebook/Google eating their lunch in the future. Luckily for them, tho, the FCC still controls the spectrum auctions and it will take some kind of P2P network revolution to shift away from landline/cellular ISPs.

Or a project Loon. Or some autonomous flying wireless tower.
lanbrown
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lanbrown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 9:25:35 PM
Re: Yeah, well...
I never watch ESPN but yet get to pay for it.  They want as much as Netflix and I can get more value from Netflix than I will ever get from ESPN.

 

Companies like AT&T, Verizon, etc. cannot do anything about how the content providers want to sell their product.  Disney (and the likes) wants to be in the cheap tier for all of their programming and want to be paid for it.  If AT&T, Verizon, etc. refuse then they will see Disney (and the likes) pull all of their programming.

 

When enough people cut the cord and say Disney feels the pinch and then starts posting losses, maybe things will change.

 

I really wish the FCC and FTC would block mergers when it comes to companies that have the content to companies that bring it into the home.  Comcast could increase the costs of their programming and companies like AT&T and Verizon can do nothing about it.  It is not like Comcast actually has to pay the increase to themselves but in areas where you have multiple providers (one of which is Comcast), it puts Comcast at a competitive advantage.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 2:13:31 PM
Re: If not Go90, then skinny bundle
It's for new customers, and those adds are tied directly to the cheap TV campaign. Also, Verizon has put the number at 30% to 40%. This is why pulling facts from Twitter is not advisable, unless you're running for President.
msilbey
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msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/8/2015 | 2:03:52 PM
Re: If not Go90, then skinny bundle
I can't imagine it includes people switching tiers. Speaking as a Fios subscribe who should probably downsize to a custom bundle, it takes a lot to overcome the inertia factor. 
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/8/2015 | 2:02:16 PM
Re: If not Go90, then skinny bundle
Saw that and also thought it was interesting. Curious, did they mean NEW customers, or all customers (new and existing) that switch to tiers?
msilbey
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msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/8/2015 | 12:47:44 PM
If not Go90, then skinny bundle
Check this out: "Verizon says 40% of customers immediately chose "skinny bundle" Custom TV. The bundle is dying."

https://twitter.com/danbobkoff/status/674277259080048640
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