Verizon CEO Doesn’t Want to Sell You a 300-Channel TV Package

Lowell McAdam is focused on millennials and also expects Yahoo deal to go through

Last Updated: December 6, 2016 @ 7:16 AM

Verizon is the latest old-line telecom company that sees its future in “skinny bundles” and mobile video.

At a Tuesday morning session at the 44th annual UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company will continue to base its content strategy around younger viewing habits as it rolls out its 5G wireless network.

“We want to skate to where the puck is going,” McAdam said. “if you look at millennials and how they choose to consume their media, it’s much more mobile, snackable and internet-based.”

McAdam said Verizon is consciously investing in internet-based programming with a proven youth-heavy audience rather than build an old-style cable bundle, saying that’s where the growth opportunity is.

“We’re more bullish on the digital media because the millennials don’t want a 300-channel bundle,” McAdam said. “That’s why we’re going the route of [lifestyle website] Complex Media and [digital video network] AwesomenessTV.”

McAdam also addressed Verizon’s rollout of its high-speed 5G network, which he described as “wireless fiber.” As opposed to its FiOS product, which ran fiber lines directly into people’s homes, the 5G network will be a hybrid with fiber to the neighborhood and a wireless component to carry it the last mile. And again, McAdam plays to use the network, which is rolling out in several cities, namely Boston, to deliver a skinny TV bundle in addition to high-speed internet.

“Our plan is to offer 1-gigabit broadband service to them and a over-the-top bundle,” he said. “We can go with a 300-channel bundle, [but] in our view, the market is going more toward a skinny bundle.”

McAdam declined to talk about Yahoo, which Verizon agreed to purchase for $4.8 billion in July, other than to say that the company is still working through its security processes after revelations of a major breach, and that he still anticipates Yahoo being added to the Verizon fold.

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