Analyst: Verizon FiOS TV Not Truly Competitive Yet

The Disney deal is a major step but Craig Moffett, vp and senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., warns that Verizon still has to make deals with Viacom, Fox and others ” to field a truly competitive channel line-up.” From Moffett’s just-released note:
“Perhaps the most critical gap is in local network affiliates (especially those of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX). There are more than 800 such affiliates in the US. Progress on this front remains uncertain; resolving/locking down carriage of the affiliates remains a central issue as the affiliates comprise the vast majority of television stations in the United States. … Negotiations with independent affiliates need to be conducted separately. Owners of these assets include Belo, Sinclair, Emmis, Scripps, and others. A critical question is whether or not Verizon will be compelled to pay cash for the rights to retransmit these local affiliates. In our view, it is essential for Verizon to secure local content agreements in order to compete with cable and satellite.”