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Next TV Summit: Westlake -- Microsoft Chose to Join Pay-TV Ops, Not Fight Them

San Francisco -- Microsoft at one point evaluated putting together a multichannel-video offering that would compete with cable and satellite TV operators -- but concluded it would be tough to succeed against entrenched players, said Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of the company's Media & Entertainment Group.

"We looked at it... There was a little bit of, if you can't truly improve on something that is already offered you go through the analysis of, ‘Do you do it?'" Westlake said at the Multichannel News/B&C Next TV Summit here Thursday. The U.S. has 100 million pay-TV households, and it's a huge challenge to convert "tens of millions of people and persuade them to move from one subscription service to another."

"We look at a lot of things," Westlake added, reasoning that it's better to explore all available options "instead of having to look back and say, we should have done something."

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