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Verizon CFO: Go90 Not Streaming TV

20 Oct, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo

Just weeks into Verizon’s rollout of Go90, an ad-supported platform for mobile device owners, CFO Fran Shammo quashed speculation the service aims to emulate online TV offerings such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and Spectrum TV.

Speaking Oct. 20 during Verizon's fiscal call, Shammo was asked whether Go90 would consider partnering with pay-TV operators to license video content and consolidate resource spending.

The CFO reiterated that Go90 is not an online TV service, but rather a platform targeting younger mobile device users with short video segments such as “Top 5 Live” and “Betch,” among others.

Upon launch, Go90 featured video segments from myriad third-party content sources such as Defy Media, Icon Network, Vice, Huffington Post, AOL, DreamWorksTV, Elite Daily, and IGN News, among 48 exclusive content deals.

“Go90 is a very different product set. It's mobile first, a social entertainment platform,” Shammo said. “This really is just a totally different perspective than linear TV and content deals.”

Separately, Verizon added 42,000 FiOS TV subscribers, with some new subscribers opting for the telecom’s smaller ($20 less expensive) but higher-margin bundle, Custom TV. ESPN is suing Verizon claiming it doesn’t have the contractual right to offer the sports channel as an add-on channel to Custom TV.

Verizon ended the third-quarter with 5.8 million FiOS TV subs, which is up 5% from the prior-year period. It added 114,000 new FiOS broadband subs to end the period with 6.9 subs, up 7.2% year-over-year.

“Consumers are speaking to the total linear TV environment that says they only want to pay for what they want to watch, and they don't want to pay for 300 channels when they watch only about 10% of those channels,” Shammo said. “I think that’s more important is to where the ecosystem is going.”

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