With competition garnering a lot of attention in the wake of 3Q results, now seemed a good time for a chat with AT&T evp, programming Dan York. How tough have you found negotiations with programmers? The content community has generally been very receptive and supportive of our entry into the video market. Our content team has accomplished something no one has ever done in this business: We went from zero content to more than 320 channels, more than 30 HD channels, and hundreds of VOD titles in less than 18 months via over 150 direct deals. But we’ve only just begun. Just like all the other MVPDs, our content costs can always be lower. The IP-based model adopted by U-verse is certainly more cutting edge than what Verizon is doing with FiOS, but some cable engineers have questioned how well it will scale once you start trying to serve millions of customers. Are they missing something? We’ve grown our customer base from around 3K customers at the end of last year to 126K at the end of the 3rd quarter. We’re installing nearly 10K customers a week. You can’t achieve growth like that without scalability. What’s the biggest advantage you see to the U-verse architecture, and what service feature seems to be getting the best response from subscribers? AT&T is the only national service provider offering 100% IPTV today. IP gives us more flexibility to deliver more options, more personalization and more integration. We’ve gotten a great response on a lot of our features, but one example is our advanced DVR capabilities. Customers really enjoy being able to record more than two programs at once, and they also tell us how convenient it is to program their DVR from any of their 3 screens using Web and Mobile Remote Access to the DVR. What’s AT&T’s philosophy on the quad-play—should cable be worried? Wireless is absolutely an advantage. That’s not a secret. We have the best assets to offer consumers a complete quadruple-play of services. But where we really surpass our competitors is our ability to go beyond the bundle and integrate services, applications and content. That’s another advantage of our IP platform. We’re integrating these services to deliver a more seamless and valuable experience to our customers that our competitors can’t easily duplicate. Are cable operators underestimating you? We’ve shown we can sell video, which is already proven by the 2mln subs we’ve delivered via our DBS offerings. With U-verse, you can’t be a new market entrant, with a brand name and reputation like AT&T … and not be noticed by the competition. We’re seeing a great response from customers; we have an advanced platform that puts us ahead of the competition; and we’re the leader in broadband and wireless. But despite all this, I’d prefer they remain skeptics.

The Daily


Comcast Updates Remote Accessibility

Comcast and Team Gleason, which is focused on improving life for those living with ALS, have teamed up for the latest evolution of the Xfinity Adaptive Remote.

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