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prismtvPortlanders have a new cable TV option.

CenturyLink today launched its Prism TV service, an alternative to Comcast that’s delivered not via cable or satellite but rather fiber — just like CenturyLink’s new Internet offering.

“There is no doubt that Portland is a hub for innovation, and the launch of CenturyLink’s Prism TV service brings more best-in-class television service options to the city,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement. 

Prism TV is now available in some parts of Portland — The Oregonian has a nice map here showing which areas are eligible.

As The Oregonian noted, prices won’t be much different than what Comcast currently offers for high-speed Internet in the Portland area, with rates starting at $67 per month. CenturyLink also requires TV subscribers to sign up for Internet, which adds a minimum of $35 to the monthly bill.


Prism TV may soon be available to residents in Seattle, too. The City Council voted in March to eliminate a longstanding cable franchise district system that required cable TV companies to provide service to all neighborhoods.

That gave CenturyLink the green light to offer Prism TV in Seattle, where it is quickly expanding its fiber Internet service. Sue Anderson, CenturyLink’s vice president of operations for Washington, told GeekWire that CenturyLink is in discussions with local officials to secure franchise agreements in Seattle.

“While we work through the process of securing a video franchise agreement, we simultaneously will be working through the planning, network investments and testing necessary to ensure an optimal experience for Seattle area customers,” Anderson said.

Anderson did not give a time frame for when Prism TV might be available in Seattle. When it does arrive in the Emerald City, it will certainly offer some competition to Comcast, which recently increased Internet speeds in Seattle.

It will be interesting to watch out CenturyLink, Comcast, and others come up with new TV offerings at a time when many Americans are canceling their cable subscriptions as more low-cost streaming TV options become available.

[Editor’s Note: CenturyLink is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]

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