Cable had it easy. There delivery system (network) was already delivering TV content, the least profitable of the triple-play services. Telcos had to drop hundreds of millions to get into the telco TV game late. This article - Execs: AT&T, CenturyLink Re-Think Video Delivery Platforms, Strategies - comes as no surprise as PRISM is probably the last telco TV experiment to hit the market. U-Verse TV had 5.3 million subs before AT&T bought DirecTV.
VZ doesn't even play this game any more. (They have about 5.5 Million FiOS TV subs and that number will decrease when Frontier takes over Cali next month and Texas and Florida in the future.) Verizon launched a skinny OTT Bundle, go90 service, bought AOL and now is doing a JV with Hearst Media for content/programming for Millennials - to increase mobile data consumption and ads!
The Telco TV segment has to be re-thought out because the dollars just are not there. Cable in some markets just gives away TV to get the broadband, the revenue and the subs - the metrics Wall Street watches. Cord cutting is still real. The giants are winning 0 Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google. TV is just part of the ecosystem now.
AT&T is launching a Sling TV competitor with a skinny OTT video bundle.