It's generally understood that pay TV is a financial dog for small broadband companies, but it's a dog you have to keep. Consumers expect their broadband provider to also offer some sort of pay TV offering, and not having it risks those consumers moving all of their services to someone else's network.
In the past couple of years, we've seen several companies offer a new alternative to operators: hosted video services. Under this model, a third party offers a pay TV service over an operator's network. It's not over-the-top so it meets the security requirements of programmers. It's also not particularly profitable for the operator, but it does relieve small systems from the burdens that come along with offering pay TV, including managing programming contracts.
Here in Iowa, Iowa Network Services (now Aureon) made a splash in 2015 when it announced a partnership with Skitter TV to offer its hosted video platform to operators in the state. An initial wave of great interest was tempered however by technical issues relating to the platform's roll-out. As a result, few of Iowa's small operators have actually launched the Skitter TV platform in place of their traditional pay TV offering.
Another company, CSI Digital, has also been making the rounds in Iowa with their hosted platform called yondoo. The primary challenge CSI Digital has faced is transport. While Aureon has the ability to transport Skitter TV content over their extensive network, CSI Digital is having to negotiate transport with other network providers.
Now, a new solution is emerging for municipal providers. Level 3 has launched a hosted video solution and has signed its first municipal customer in Longmont, Colorado. CLICK HERE to read a story about the launch in Telecompetitor.
Some operators have resisted hosted video because they fear the loss of local control and identity by having "someone else's" product on their network. The folks at CSI Digital have created a new option for those providers, Jericho, that they will be discussing at the IAMU Broadband Conference next week. Their session, "What's New With Yondoo" will be held Thursday, March 23rd at 10:30am.
Yes, this is a sneaky way to remind you to register for the IAMU Broadband Conference if you haven't already. See you next week!
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