McAdam: No Content Buys for Verizon

Verizon Communications shed about 37,000 Fios video customers in the second quarter, more than double the 15,000 it lost in the same period last year, but its soon-to-be-outgoing CEO told analysts that the telecom giant won’t be engaging in the content buying frenzy of its peers.

“We are not going to be owning content,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told analysts on a conference call to discuss quarterly results. “We’re not going to compete with content. We’re going to be the best partner for the content distribution business. McAdam, who is scheduled to retire next month, said that strategy jibes with the feelings of his replacement, former Verizon chief technology officer Hans Vestberg.

Vestberg said that he was pleased with the company’s assets.

Verizon has stayed on the sidelines as its peers like AT&T have made huge content deals. Last month Verizon shuttered its long-struggling mobile video unit go90. On the call, McAdam said he was happy that Verizon “didn’t follow the things a lot of analysts and bankers told us to do.”

The outgoing Verizon chief also quashed recent speculation that its Oath unit, which houses the former AOL and Yahoo assets, was for sale.

Related: Verizon Drops Plan to Build its Own OTT Service

“There is no intention of spinning out Oath,” McAdam said. “We are seeing the synergies we expected to see."

Total Fios revenue was $3 billion in the period, up 2% but driven mainly by an increase of 43,000 Fios Internet customers. Overall wireline revenue was $7.5 billion in the quarter, down 3.4% from the prior year.

The wireless segment fared better – revenue of $22.3 billion was up 5.5% from the previous year, driven by a net increase of 531,000 retail postpaid customers in the period. That helped drive overall net phone additions of 199,000 customers in the period.