Want to know how cable and telecom operators are going to compete in the short-term? One word: content.
Verizon has put a few notches in its lipstick case with recent sports content deals. Exhibit:
1. FiOS TV Signs the NFL Network
I’ve been skeptical of the NFL Network, but it does carry a few critical games that aren’t otherwise available in certain markets. Thereâs been a big brouhaha over this in both San Antonio and Washington DC, where the regional cable operators will be depriving fans of a Dallas-Atlanta game and a Ravens-Bengals game respectively. (Verizon kindly posts a cable v. FiOS comparison on the matter on its new blogâ¦)
2. NFL Online
Starting December 7th, Verizon will offer âlive NFL Network sports and entertainment programmingâ? online to its broadband customers.
3. Verizon Gets Comcast SportsNet (?!)
Presumably in a move to appear anti-monopolistic, Comcast has given Verizon the right to carry Comcast SportsNet on its FiOS TV service. This is a big deal for Verizon because some customers might not consider a switch to FiOS if they couldn’t watch local games shown only on Comcast SportsNet.
So Verizon’s doing well in the sports department. But donât think that cable operators are sitting idly by. Comcast, for example, has signed a deal for extensive VOD content from Disney, including popular ABC shows. The content wars are just beginning.