Verizon Bags NJ Prize
August 7, 2006 4:17 PM
Verizon Communications recently won its second statewide cable franchise, in New Jersey, after having won one earlier in Texas. The phone company is launching video, high-speed access to the Internet and phone service, similar to the cable industry’s so-called “triple play.”
Verizon is also lobbying for statewide franchises in California and Pennsylvania, which means if it wins, the company would not have to go through the arduous process of negotiating for local franchises municipality by municipality.
Meanwhile, according to last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, growth for the two satellite services, DirecTV and EchoStar has sputtered, while growth for cable’s popular triple array of offerings is growing quite nicely.
According to that WSJ article, 80 percent of the nation’s homes already subscribe to either cable or satellite. So where does that leave Verizon to catch on fire? It’s going to be on the price front. Verizon claims that in towns where it has “lit up,” consumers are already seeing savings of about 20 percent.
So the playing field has become commodified and I predict Verizon will probably pick up most of its future subscribers from satellite because those services presently are without a real broadband strategy.