Odd One Out: Telus Not Joining “Content Races”

by Jordan Richardson on September 15, 2010

On Monday I talked about how the telecommunications battle is heating up as the carriers purchase media companies and broadcasting entities. Bell’s recent $1.3 billion purchase of CTV and Shaw’s recent $2 million purchase of CanWest Global sheds light on just where the war for telecommunications supremacy is headed. Content is king, for now at least.

Telus, odd man out in terms of content, has expressed its intentions with respect to the ongoing battle: it’s not interested in pursuing content.

Telus’ COO Joe Natale said that his company has no plans in buying up content to fuel its TV, online and wireless services. Not for nothing, but Telus’ strategy of providing existing content has been working out just fine so far – or so Telus wants us to believe.

Natale said that Telus is doing just fine with building out broadband access and internet-based TV services. The pursuit of this business angle will enable the company to provide a different kind of convergence in allowing consumers to do all sorts of integrated tasks with smart phones, internet connections and other forms of media devices and telecom gear.

Some analysts have put Telus in the pile for acquisition possibilities, but nothing about Telus’ attitude speaks to capitulation. Instead, Telus is going strong with its ability to acquire and provide international content using its services. It doesn’t need to own the company outright.

This sort of thing appears to be part of Telus’ strategy as of late.

Think about their decision regarding the current discount battles, for example. Telus, as I reported just over a month ago, decided to steer clear of the discount battles to avoid regulatory attention. With Bell and Rogers retooling old brands and inventing new ones respectively, Telus’ decision to stay out of the fray was compelling.

Then there’s the branding of Rogers Arena, the Arena Formerly Known as General Motors Place, as a key focal point out West for one of Telus’ key rivals. Telus was approached about the deal initially, but they turned it down in favour of “working on their networks.”

The decision to not join the content races could be viewed as another statement of confidence in the power of their networks. But is that really the case? Is Telus legitimately satisfied with its market position and its product/service line-up? Or are they simply feigning satisfaction after missing the boat on both CTV and CanWest?

It’s hard not to see Telus’ lack of content as a positive, especially as the other carriers begin to circle the wagons around the company. And it’s hard to imagine that Telus didn’t at least have some interest, however minute, in the acquisition of a broadcasting giant. With nothing left to gain, however, Telus appears to be behaving as if there’s nothing left to lose.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

{ 1 comment }

imtiyaz kutub September 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Value added services or so called content is going to take the central stage in terms of driving revenues for the telecom companies….as more competition sets in with new players getting into the arena..call prices and text cost will touch bottom with consumers getting more price conscious driven by price catching advertisment……content is left out of price war and is something where the company can differentiate itself and earn higher revenues.\

Telus have to give due share of importance to content however its right that you do not need to own it…its better to collaborate with other companies and let them do it for you……

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