CenturyLink Launches Anticipated OTT Service
CenturyLink says they’re “breaking the rules of TV.” What it translates to is that they’re finally offering their CenturyLink Stream over the top (OTT) service and providing subscribers an option to the cable bundle that many currently have.
CenturyLink Stream is a full-fledged, nationally distributed virtual MVPD service, competing head-on with Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Sony PlayStation Vue and FuboTV. Initially, the service is supported on Roku OTT devices, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.
Per the CenturyLink Stream product page, the base tier will run $45 a month and include almost 50 networks, including the History Channel, Food Network, HGTV and four different ESPN channels.
More importantly, the skinny bundle allows for add-ons of smaller networks available for entertainment, movies, lifestyle, sports, Latino-targeted entertainment and cable news, among other programming themes. This is counter to what the incumbent pay-TV providers provide.
During CenturyLink’s 4Q16 earnings conference call, CenturyLink’s CEO, Glen F. Post, said, “With the over-the-top product, we don’t have to make a truck roll. We have much wider availability due to lower bandwidth requirements over the top. We have network-based storage for DVR. We’ll have local channels to help distinguish that product. And our trials are getting really strong reviews right now.”
Given CenturyLink’s small share in the video market, this OTT video streaming service has huge growth potential. Driven primarily by the high monthly bills that users are paying cable and satellite TV providers, more users are making the switch to OTT services.