Qwest Extends DirecTV Deal Through 2014

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Qwest Communications and DirecTV announced a five-year extension to their existing deal that allows Qwest to continue to offer satellite TV services to residential customers.

Financial terms of the deal, which extends their original October 2004 agreement, were not disclosed. At the end of the first quarter of 2009, Qwest had 832,000 video subscribers through DirecTV.

In addition, Qwest and DirecTV said they will offer new integrated services to joint customers, including remote DVR scheduling via Qwest's Web portal and the ability to manage Qwest home phone service - such as playing voicemail messages and seeing incoming caller ID alerts on the TV - from a broadband-connected DirecTV DVR.

"The agreement enables us to further evolve our successful relationship with Qwest by offering more ways for customers to take advantage of the integration of Qwest's high-speed broadband and phone services with DirecTV's best-in-class video service," DirecTV senior vice president of sales David Olsen said in a statement.

DirecTV also has agreements with Verizon Communications and AT&T, each of which offer the satellite TV operator's service in areas where they do not offer their own video services.

Qwest, the third-largest phone company in the U.S., had 11.2 million access lines and 2.9 million broadband subscribers as of March 31.

On Monday, Qwest introduced higher-speed DSL tiers in select markets offering up to 40 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up. The 40/20 service starts at $109.99 a month for the first 12 months when combined with a qualifying home-phone package; a 40/5 package starts at $99.99 with the same terms.

Qwest's faster broadband service, based on VSDL2 technology, is available on a limited basis in Denver, Tucson, Ariz., Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Qwest said it plans to introduce these services in the coming months to select areas within 23 markets, including markets in New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

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