CenturyLink to carry Universal Sports content in 9 IPTV markets

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is catering to the sports fanatics who subscribe to its Prism IPTV offering by signing a multiyear carriage agreement with Universal Sports that will enable the carrier to offer new sports content in nine markets, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, central North Carolina and southwest Florida.

Although the two companies did not reveal the financial terms of the agreement, CenturyLink will be able to provide its users full TV Everywhere rights, exclusive video on demand content and Universal Sports Max, a secondary online channel.

"We are pleased that CenturyLink recognizes the high value of our network's content, and look forward to providing their customers with unique, exclusive global sports coverage on multiple platforms," said Universal Sports senior vice president and general counsel Scott Brown in announcing the affiliate pact. "CenturyLink has several influential markets, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha, where our audience now has another viable choice to get the content they have been demanding."

Unlike fellow RBOCs AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), CenturyLink has been arguably more conservative in rolling out IPTV. But it has made progress with the service in recent quarters.

While it won't release its Q1 2013 earnings until May 15, in Q4 2012 the service provider did add 10,000 Prism IPTV customers, ending the quarter with a total of 115,000 subscribers. As has been the trend with other wireline operators that offer IPTV as part of a triple play bundle, CenturyLink said in Q4 that more than 90 percent of its Prism IPTV subscribers also purchased broadband service.

Having more content options available for a service that the telco is still expanding into other markets, including Phoenix, will give it another form of differentiation as it tries to lure subscribers from cable and satellite.

For more;
- Mulitchannel News has this article

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