CenturyLink to battle Comcast for TV dollars in Vancouver, Wash.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is going to launch its Prism IPTV service in Vancouver, Wash., bringing the first video challenge to incumbent cable provider Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Set to run from Jan. 22 through Dec. 31, 2020, the city council granted the telco a five-year, non-exclusive cable TV franchise.

Per the terms of its agreement, CenturyLink will pay 5 percent of gross revenues in franchise fees to the city and collect $1 per month per residential subscriber to support public, education and government channels and the Institutional Network.

CenturyLink has been working with Vancouver and county representatives since last December to craft a deal.

As it does in other markets where it operates Prism IPTV service, it will provide eligible customers various features, including wireless set-top boxes, remote DVR access, the ability watch and record multiple shows at once with a single DVR, or pause a show and pick it up in another room.

Customers will also be able to choose from a number of different programming packages and more than 210 high-definition channels. Another side benefit of the IPTV roll out is that CenturyLink will bring higher speed broadband services via its existing copper plant and its FTTH network infrastructure.

IPTV and video overall continues to be a big priority for CenturyLink. During the third quarter, the service provider added nearly 11,300 Prism TV customers and more than 360,000 addressable homes added in new and existing service areas, ending the quarter with nearly 3 million addressable homes.

Not being immune to the rapidly rising costs of content and deployment, CenturyLink is also looking to complement its IPTV base with an over-the-top video offering. It plans to trial this service, which will offer similar content to Prism IPTV customers, in two markets. By offering an OTT video product, the service provider said that it could potentially achieve two goals: reduce ongoing deployment costs while reaching more of its customer base with video services.

For more:
- The Columbian has this article

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This article was updated on Dec. 24 to correct the fact that CenturyLink will pay the city 5, not 55 percent, of gross revenues to Vancouver. 

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