Verizon CFO on Possible Yahoo Acquisition: "Can It Add Value to Us?"

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Verizon CFO Fran Shammo

The exec also predicted more carriage disputes between pay TV operators and content companies.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told an investor conference on Tuesday that there could be more contentious carriage negotiations between pay TV operators and content companies.

"Obviously, the content providers have the leverage on the linear TV side," he said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco in a session that was webcast.

Skinny pay TV bundles offered by Verizon under the Custom TV brand help in that regard "by rebundling some of the content there," he argued. "This year, maybe next year, you are going to start to see more, I think, real conflict between content and linear TV providers and more maybe going dark and some content being dropped over time. I think it's just the nature of what's going to happen in this ecosystem."

Shammo also reiterated that Verizon would be looking at a possible acquisition of Yahoo as the telecom giant considers "every single opportunity."

Discussing Yahoo, he said: "Does this fit? Is it strategic? Can it add value to us? [I] don’t know the answers to those questions yet." He said it was "premature" given that Yahoo was looking at options for its assets and it's still early in that process.

"I don't think anybody knows what’s under the hood yet," he said, adding, "That’s just an opportunity we will take a look at."

Shammo also said regarding Custom TV's recently rejigged offers that the company has in the early going seen a higher take rate of 40 percent out of all Verizon FiOS video sales, up from about a third for the initial offers. Plus, the uptake on added packages is up, he added.

In January, Verizon had said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that "customer interest continues to grow for Custom TV, which represented about one-third of FiOS video sales" in the final quarter of 2015.

Shammo on Tuesday also said Verizon feels good about its overall video offerings and their outlook.

 

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