Sonic explored deeply the idea of an IPTV product, delivered over our fiber. The conclusion was that we couldn't deliver a quality product in a competitive way. There are two factors that drive this for us, but then a positive evolution in the marketplace:
First, content costs are far higher for small pay-tv providers than for large ones. As a result, a bundle of channels we'd deliver would cost more than the same line-up from one of the three or four choices everyone has today (Cable, DIRECTV, DISH and possibly Telco.)
Second, the quality of the set-top-boxes and interfaces available to smaller carriers is...poor. Put another way, the Hopper 3 and it's peers are really good (DTV's Genie, Comcast's X1, etc.) These solutions are exclusive to the provider who developed them (exception: Comcast licenses the X1 platform to some other Cable companies they do not compete with.) Solutions for carriers like Sonic are from vendors such as Conklin, Innovative and Minerva - and frankly, they have a "Hotel TV" type of interface experience. Just not as polished.
So the result is a too-expensive product with a poor user interface. Not a winner.
But the positive evolution is that TV has become an app. With the launch of YouTubeTV, Hulu TV, DIRECTV Now, and long-time options Sony Vue and Sling TV, it's finally possible to just subscribe to Pay TV over the Internet. (This is referred to as "Over the top" video, or "OTT".) No term commitment, no set-top box rental, and all the essentials like DVR and sports that folks want. Most consumers haven't yet absorbed or considered this option, but the traditional pay-tv subscription numbers and the OTT numbers do tell a story about what is to come.