Adding an OTT TV component to its repertoire, Windstream has recently begun to bundle DirecTV Now with its “Kinetic”-branded internet services.
Windstream added that option during Q3, company CEO Tony Thomas noted on the company’s earnings call last week.
Windstream’s new DirecTV Now bundling option is highlighted on this web page. After customers pick a Kinetic internet plan, Windstream then directs them to DirecTV Now to complete the process.
The relationship, reported on this week by FierceCable, gives Windstream another video option for broadband customers and a pay TV option it can deliver in all of its markets.
The DirecTV Now deal also complements Windstream’s own managed IPTV service, Kinetic TV, which runs on Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform and is available in parts of North Carolina; Lincoln, Neb.; Lexington, Ky., and Sugar Land, Texas. Windstream also resells and bundles satellite TV services from Dish Network.
Thomas said the DirecTV Now agreement helps Windstream bring a cost-effective entertainment option to all its markets.
“When you think about DirecTV now and how it helps Windstream…it’s really in our ability to be an entertainment provider,” Thomas said. “This enables us to be an entertainment provider across our entire footprint. And it helps us, as you alluded to, on both retention of existing customers as well as in terms of acquiring new customers.”
Windstream’s partnership approach with DirecTV Now differs from the OTT strategy undertaken by CenturyLink, which introduced its own internet-powered pay TV product, CenturyLink Stream, in June.
Small-and mid-sized U.S. cable operators are also poised to follow a similar path to Windstream by bundling a third-party OTT TV offering with their own broadband services. The National Cable Television Cooperative, an organization that represents many of the nation’s tier 2/3 providers, has agreements in place with Sony’s PlayStation Vue and fuboTV.