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CenturyLink Ends Prism TV Service Expansion

Phillip Dampier April 10, 2018 CenturyLink, Competition, Consumer News, Online Video 3 Comments

CenturyLink’s Prism TV

CenturyLink has stopped expanding its cable TV alternative Prism TV, and will no longer promote the service to its customers.

“Due to emerging market trends in video content and delivery, we do not plan to expand our Prism TV service offering,” CenturyLink spokesperson Francie Dudrey told Fierce Cable, in a statement delivered at the NAB Show yesterday. “We will continue to provide service and support to our current Prism TV subscribers and make the service available to qualified customers who request it in the markets where we currently offer Prism TV.”

As Stop the Cap! reported last month, CenturyLink is planning to pull back on residential broadband upgrades and services it was expecting to sell on its improved internet platform after the company announced senior management changes. One key sign CenturyLink was moving away from Prism TV was the sudden retirement of Duane Ring on March 30. Ring, a 34-year veteran at CenturyLink had been recently promoted to help oversee CenturyLink’s residential broadband upgrades and was instrumental to the launch of Prism TV in 2005.

Wall Street and activist shareholders had pushed CenturyLink hard to replace long time CEO Glen Post III, who had recently turned bullish on costly residential broadband upgrades. Post’s replacement, former Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey, wants to refocus CenturyLink on its more profitable commercial customers.

Ironically, Level 3 was acquired by CenturyLink in 2016. Now some of Level 3’s top executives will firmly control CenturyLink itself. Shareholder activists were pleased with CenturyLink’s new direction under Storey’s leadership, arguing CenturyLink shouldn’t be devoting significant resources or funding to its legacy phone and copper broadband businesses. CenturyLink will now move away from home broadband services and towards commercial and enterprise broadband, metro ethernet, and cloud/backup services. About two-thirds of CenturyLink customers are commercial enterprises.

CenturyLink will now promote DirecTV to its residential customers instead of Prism TV.

Longer term, a growing number of analysts suspect CenturyLink’s new management will want to sell off some or all of CenturyLink’s residential customers to refocus the business entirely on its commercial customers. The company refused to discuss that issue at this time. CenturyLink may find a difficult market for would-be buyers. Frontier Communications, a regular buyer of wireline assets, is itself mired in debt and financial difficulties.

Investors continue to be skeptical of the merits of costly network upgrades for the nation’s copper wire phone networks. In areas where fiber-enabled phone companies compete directly with cable, price wars can develop, reducing profits and the incentive to invest.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. LG says:

    CenturyLink was the first ISP I used when I moved to Florida 3 years ago. When I asked for internet service I was very clear about a few things..
    – I told them I wanted the fastest internet plan they had. (lol It was only 25 Mbps)
    – I told them I did not want a promotional price, I wanted the regular price to compare with other providers (I re-iterated this point several times and since I record phone calls, can prove it was no less than 5 times).
    – I asked them whether it was DSL (told them I didn’t like DSL).. or cable modem, so I could go ahead and order one from eBay. (was told it was a cable modem I’d need to buy).
    – Asked when they could install the 25 Mbps CABLE internet, at the $46 REGULAR non-promotional price. Response was 4 days from then.

    The day came when they were supposed to install, came and passed without even a phone call. When I called them, I was told it would be the next day (both times they said between 9am-8pm).
    The next day, nothing, no call and no tech. After calling again I told them what happened and I asked for a real date, so I wouldn’t have to wait bu the window for 11 hours for a third time. They said it would “definitely” be two days from then.. But that date came and went as did the others, with no phone call. I called and told them to forget it, I’ll call Comcast. The lady on the phone pleaded to give them an hour and the guy would show up, and I reluctantly agreed. 2 hours later the guy showed up and said he’d be back first thing tomorrow lol.. at 1pm the next afternoon he came back. Maybe he meant “first thing in the afternoon’ and I mis-heard him? lol

    Anyway, he installed it using their modem, since the lady who told me it was a cable modem, lied to me, and it was in fact the DSL service I told them I didn’t want. Whatever, I just bought a modem for $40 on eBay and they waived the one month rental fee ($12). So, there it went, it was installed, and months went by without many issues (since it was DSL, it went out several times, but would always come back soon enough). But then, around 6 months later, the bill jumped from $46 to $89 (remember, this is a paltry 25 Mbps service, and I told them several times I didn’t want a promotional price and have to argue every so often).

    I call to dispute the bill, and informed them I had recorded the calls and could easily proove what I was saying. They didn’t want to hear it, and they still insisted they never said that (must be liberals, since facts are avoided, even when they’re present and easily available). I even offered a G-Drive link to all of the phone calls, they wanted nothing to do with it. They said Nope, that’s what it costs, and scoffed at the $46 price I had before as if I was getting far too much for that low price (personally, internet is worth a dollar per Mb (not MB)). So I voiced a disagreement over the idea that a 25 Mbps DSL connection was worth even half of the $89 they were asking, and told them I’d be disconnecting. Then, suddenly, $46 became reasonable to them again, and that’s when I said I want this as a permanent price or I’ll walk. “Yes, it’s going to remain the same for at least a year”, and I was fine with that.

    One month later.. Next bill, $89. I called and cancelled it and this time I played the previous phone call into the phone, called them liars and reminded them how they told me it was cable, not DSL, costing me $50 on the wrong modem and 2 weeks to wait for the right one, cost me 3 11 hour days watching through the window for techs that never arrived and the whole billing situation. In the end, I got the last month free, they disconnected on the day we agreed and to my shock, they didn’t keep sending me bills.. even though I was convinced they would do something like that ..sort of as a cherry on the cake of lies and incompetence.

    A year after all of this, a guy walked up to me as I was working on my car, and tried to sell me this “new” CenturyLink” internet, with top speeds of 70 Mbps. I told him what happened before with them, and how I wanted nothing to do with them, and he went into the whole spiel of how it was a “different company” and it was “under new management”. and all that nonsense. As I stood in front of him with no intention of buying in, I glanced at the card he handed me that stated “70 Mbps”.. and under that it said “not available in these locations”… and mine was listed! More lies! LOL What a joke of a company.

  2. Norm Mueller says:

    Do not even consider this company for your service provider, or you will forever regret it like I do.

    This started because Comcast’s promotional rates ended and they wouldn’t reinstate them, so in a huff I
    cancelled them and switched to Centurylink slow internet, after there sales people told me they were
    actually faster (Big Lie). Six months later my dish contract was up and I refused to pay the outrageous
    full price so like a fool I ordered Prism TV.

    This has been such a disappointment I wanted to cancel my service so walked into a Centurylink office,
    where they only sell Direct TV now. Found out the fees to cancel early were $200 for internet and $230 to
    cancel Prism. But being so helpful they offered to wave the fees for Prism if I signed a two year deal with
    Diect TV. I ran out the door….

    I have spent so much time on the phone with them, hoping for the best I downgraded my service which only has
    a one year commitment and the cancellation fees are prorated. They tried to talk me into internet for life at a
    higher cost but I will wait till my promo rates expire, then switch and find out the fees to cancel them for the
    last time.

    To top it off, yesterday my changes to my service took place and everything crashed. Had no tv or internet,
    spent an hour on the phone, kept hearing they couldn’t see my modem and were escalating to a higher tech.
    Tried telling them they probably messed up my order, but told that wasn’t it at all. Asked if I moved equipment
    etc., but they had to dispatch a tech, 24 hours to dispatch one (about blew up)

    Of course they will call me before coming out (no calls), tech is in his truck for over an hour talking to there
    own people. Finally comes inside, the service was provisioned wrong but fixed now, showed him how you
    can’t watch hd on demand without the picture freezing. Time for a new modem, in less than 14 months they
    stopped using my modem because it doesn’t work and have stopped selling Prism.

    Now my speed is supposed to be 25 mbps, but is actually 10. Tech said that’s because 15 goes to Prism and
    10 for internet. Funny but before they fixed it I could get 20 mbps for my internet. I assume another tall tale
    from them. Can’t wait for the contract to end.







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