US telco Qwest Communications has invested $10 million in start-up ZillionTV in return for exclusive rights to offer the IP-delivered video-on-demand service in the telco's footprint, according to legal documents.
Unlike fellow telcos Verizon and AT&T, Qwest is unable to cross-subsidise an over the top or IPTV build-out with wireless revenues. It is also likely that the company is more interested in cleaning up company debt in preparation for a possible sale, than investing seriously in massive IPTV upgrades.
ZillionTV is expected to launch commercially in the second half of 2010 with Qwest and other telco partnersâ€”who would deliver the content over DSL broadband connectionsâ€”while the start-up also pursues a direct-to-consumer strategy to expand the reach of its advertising-supported service.
ZillionTV is aiming to deliver 15,000 movies, TV shows and other video selections by the time it launches, and has distribution agreements with several studios including Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony and Warner Bros.