Verizon Doesn't Need to Own "Traditional Linear TV Content," Says CFO

Associated Press
Verizon

“It’s important to us that we have mobile digital rights to some of the content that we think will be important in a mobile bundle,” Matt Ellis tells an investor conference.

While telecom giant AT&T has agreed to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion, rival Verizon continues to feel it doesn’t need to buy a big entertainment company, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis told an investor conference Tuesday.

“We don’t believe that we need to own the traditional linear TV content,” he said in a session at the Morgan Stanley Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, which was webcast. 

Ellis also reiterated previous comments from Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam that the AT&T deal doesn’t affect Verizon’s strategy. “It’s important to us that we have mobile digital rights to some of the content that we think will be important in a mobile bundle,” he said, citing shortform content and live sports.

Verizon has been focusing more on content and service offerings for millennials and has in recent years been building out its online platform via the acquisition of such assets as AOL.

Ellis also was asked Tuesday about the recent agreement with Yahoo that will see Verizon pay $350 million less than the $4.83 billion price tag originally announced to acquire the Internet company. “That was a good outcome for both sides,” he said.

The Verizon CFO told the investor conference that the main remaining step to finish the deal is a Yahoo shareholder vote. Ellis also said that the financial and strategic impact of the deal would be bigger and more visible in 2018 than in 2017.
 

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