SPOTLIGHT: NAB: Telcos vie for closer content ties

The National Association of Broadcasters trade show has long been a party the telecom industry has been invited to attend, but probably one at which many service providers--at least the telcos--did not feel comfortable. They were the outsiders, the kids who had new clothes that did not quite fit right, or fit their own style. But, this week at the NAB in Las Vegas, telcos are looking like they belong. Executives from AT&T and Verizon Communications are talking about wanting to get closer to the content community, and now, increasingly they have large TV customer bases in hand to back up their intentions and win over new friends.

In the early days of IPTV, telcos had a hard time getting premium content and decent prices from broadcasters and programmers because they had so few customers. The Hollywood types always said they wanted to work with telcos, and that they believed the additional distribution channel would help them, but the kind words probably were rarely accompanied by pricing breaks that would have helped telcos get their feet on the ground. Those days are fading.--Dan O'Shea

Check out this NAB coverage at Telephony