Competition In The Cable And Broadband Business

According to Reuters, Cablevision’s 3 million New York-area customers lost broadcast signals of local station WABC-TV in the early hours of Sunday because the cable operator and the TV network were unable to come to terms. This corporate PR battle is is being played out amidst the highly anticipated Oscars award show, depriving those 3 million New York-area customers of Hollywood cultural enrichment.

My household used to be a Cablevision customer, but we switched to Verizon FiOS two years ago for faster broadband and to support competition in our neighborhood. According to Wikipedia, “Verizon FiOS is a bundled communications (Internet, telephone, and TV) service, operating over a fiber-optic communications network, that is presently offered in some areas of the United States…it has attracted consumer and media attention…as the first major U.S. carrier to offer fiber to the home/premises.” Verizon is taking advantage of this Cablevision-ABC feud to lure more customers, as evidenced by the following letter received a few hours prior to this posting:

From: Verizon Member Services <>
Date: Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM
Subject: Important message for NY and NJ Verizon FiOS customers about their Channel 7 programming
To: maxkalehoff@

To our Loyal Customers,

Verizon would like to reassure our loyal customers that Cablevision’s battle with ABC, and the loss of Channel 7 on Cablevision’s line up as of midnight last night, will in no way impact your Verizon FiOS service.

Do you have friends and neighbors who have lost their Channel 7 programming with Cablevision and who will be upset about missing the Oscars and other great shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost and so much more. If you do, then we would like to invite you to register in our Share The Network Refer-a-Friend program. As a registered member of our Verizon Share The Network program, your benefits would allow you to earn a $50 Reward Card for every customer you refer who orders one of our packages containing 2 or 3 of our Services (voice, broadband and/or TV) and a $25 Reward Card for a single product referral.

We are standing by and ready to help them move over to Verizon FiOS with a special incentive. Use your Share The Network membership to earn your rewards as a result of all your referrals!!!

Thank you for making the right choice of Verizon FiOS!

As a FiOS customer, I recommend the product based on the merit of my satisfaction versus the competition, not the aforementioned incentives. I’ve also been impressed by the growing number of Verizon employees who actively listen, acknowledge and take action to improve the customer experience.

Still, I underscore there are a lot of opportunities to provide a much better cable, broadband and wireless offering. We’ve begun to experience the benefits of greater competition in cable, broadband and wireless services, but there’s a long way to go.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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