Last week a Milanese newspaper announced that Fastweb was abandoning its IPTV offer (in favor of distributing Sky’s satellite Pay-TV solution). Fastweb blames the abandon on dwindling subscriptions and a tough economic climate. As Teresa Mastrangelo highlights in an excellent blog post entitled FastWeb Says ???arrivederci??? to IPTV; Is Telecom Italia Next?, that’s part of the story certainly, but only part of it.
Teresa suspects that Telecom Italia may be leaning the same way soon. More broadly, I’ve been wondering if IPTV isn’t a con’s game for most broadband providers. In a recent study that we undertook for the FTTH Council Europe and that will soon be published, we asked 13 service providers to rank their various services in terms of attractiveness to end users and profitability. IPTV systematically came on top in attractiveness and at the bottom in profitability.
It’s amazing the things a drowning incumbent will cling to. Telcos want to be TV stations? Not even TV stations want to be TV stations, the licence to print money expired with the channel scarcity that drove those margins evaporated.
And they’re not the first: