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Prism TV

Prism TV
Subsidiary/limited liability company
Industry Pay television
Fate Discontinued by CenturyLink
Successor Prism TV (Over-The-Top)
Founded January 5, 2011 (2011-01-05)
Defunct April 10, 2018 (2018-04-10) (For New Customers) January 17, 2019 (2019-01-17) (Existing Customers)
Area served
United States
Owner CenturyLink
Website www.centurylink.com/prismtv/

Prism TV was an American IPTV service that was owned by CenturyLink. It was based on the same technology as the U-verse service deployed by AT&T.[1] On April 10, 2018, Centurylink discontinued the service to new customers due to emerging market trends in video content and delivery[2], but its existing customers will still have this service until January 17, 2019, when they will be then transferred to AT&T's DirectTV.[3] An over-the-top service of the same name is being tested in several markets, and expected to replace Prism TV by 2019.[4]

History

Around the time that Sprint Nextel spun off their landline division to form Embarq, Verizon and AT&T began work on their own IPTV services to compete with the local cable companies. Embarq was no different, and had started work on a similar service called Embarq TV. Details were scarce, but the service was rumored to have been an IPTV fiber-to-the-node service similar to AT&T's U-verse. The service was going through beta testing when CenturyTel agreed to purchase Embarq to form CenturyLink in 2009.

CenturyLink (still known as CenturyTel) began rolling out what was to eventually be known as Prism TV in October 2009 in Jefferson City, Missouri. It adopted the Prism TV name in 2011, based on the Embarq TV infrastructure.

Over time, CenturyLink began rolling out Prism TV in markets as they were upgraded from the old copper-based services to fiber-optic communication, eventually offering the service in markets in Arizona,[5] Colorado,[6][7] Florida,[8] Iowa,[9] Minnesota,[10] Missouri,[11] Nebraska,[12] Nevada,[13] North Carolina,[14] Oregon,[15] Washington,[16] and Wisconsin.[17]

Other markets will follow once their lines are upgraded to be able to carry Prism TV. In the interim, markets that do not offer Prism TV will be allowed to have a triple play option through CenturyLink with DirecTV. Some CenturyLink customers also have Dish Network as their TV provider through CenturyLink under a grandfather clause, as Dish was the legacy provider through CenturyTel and Embarq; CenturyLink switched to DirecTV as part of its acquisition of Qwest, who had partnered with DirecTV.[18]

In 2018, CenturyLink announced that they were no longer providing services for new customers, but existing customers would still have it until January 17, 2019, when they will be switched to DirectTV. The service is being discontinued because it is not profitable.

Prism TV is still being offered to new customers and installed currently as of 10/10/2018.

Reception

Reception for Prism TV has been generally positive, with many observers feeling that giving consumers the option in areas where they might have been stuck with the local cable company if they weren't able to receive satellite television (due to either technical reasons or not being allowed through their landlords if they rent their homes) combined with cord-cutting would ultimately help push pay TV prices lower.

While CenturyLink has been slower to roll out Prism TV compared to Verizon Fios and AT&T U-verse, it has gotten praise from some consumer advocate groups that they are at least putting forth the effort to upgrade their landlines and offer the service. Verizon and to a lesser extent AT&T have both received criticism for all but abandoning their landline infrastructure to focus more on their wireless divisions, something CenturyLink doesn't offer on its own. (CenturyLink does offer bundling services for Verizon Wireless.) Verizon has in fact faced lawsuits from the city governments in New York City and Pittsburgh (both of which offer CenturyLink in parts of their suburban areas, though neither currently offer Prism TV) for failure to deploy Fios throughout their respective cities.[19] While AT&T has mostly deployed U-verse throughout its 21-state landline territory and has maintained its landlines, they have shown a lack of commitment on U-verse and plan on merging U-verse into DirecTV, which AT&T acquired in 2015.[20][21][22]

References

  1. ^ "CenturyLink Quietly Launches Prism IPTV Product". www.telecompetitor.com. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ "CenturyLink Ends Prism TV Service Expansion ·". Stop the Cap!. 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  3. ^ "CenturyLink Prism | Get Premium Channels, Access Movies On Demand, and Upgrade to HD Access". www.centurylink.com. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  4. ^ "CenturyLink CFO: OTT-TV Offering Might Replace Prism TV Product". Multichannel. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  5. ^ "CenturyLink rolling out Prism TV in Chandler, Gilbert". Phoenix Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  7. ^ "CenturyLink starts offering its Prism TV in parts of county". The Gazette. Archived from the original on 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  9. ^ "CenturyLink Prism - Get Premium Channels, Access Movies On Demand, and Upgrade to HD Access". www.centurylink.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ "CenturyLink's Prism TV to offer cable alternative". twincities.com. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  12. ^ Omaha.com. "Omaha World-Herald apps". Omaha.com. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  14. ^ "CenturyLink Offers New Functionality to Prism TV Users". 2012-01-27. Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  16. ^ "CenturyLink takes on Comcast in Seattle with rival Prism TV". The Seattle Times. 18 August 2015. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-25. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  18. ^ "CenturyLink Switches From Dish To DirecTV - Though will still support users who stick with Dish". dslreports.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Verizon Tells Employees to Ignore Bad Press on FiOS Failures". dslreports.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  20. ^ Bode, Karl (August 14, 2015). "AT&T Outlines the Changes DirecTV (and U-Verse) Users Will See". DSL Reports. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  21. ^ Dano, Mike (August 12, 2015). "AT&T to stop investing in U-verse CPE, will move to new in-home architecture using DirecTV system". FierceCable. Archived from the original on August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  22. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff (August 17, 2015). "AT&T to Put 'Genie' Into U-Verse's Bottle". MultiChannel News. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2015.

External links