US WEST is considering entering the cable television market and offering services such as billing, cable maintenance and system construction to the cable industry, company chairman Jack MacAllister said.
US WEST has launched preliminary talks with Denver-based Daniels & Associates about the Englewood-based telecommunications giant's possible entry into the cable TV market, MacAllister said Monday."We have no interest in programming and no interest in the operation of cable TV systems," he said. "We do feel, however, we could add value to cable by being an additional supplier. That would seem to be right down our alley."
US WEST began talks with Daniels & Associates, one of the nation's leading cable TV companies, several weeks ago, officials said.
Daniels spokesman Bob Russo said US WEST is studying Daniels' Greeley system.
"They want to see how it is organized and what kind of services it provides," Russo said. "In turn, US WEST is going to get back to us with proposals for various consulting activities."
Under federal law, US WEST and the six other Baby Bell companies may not own cable systems in the United States, but the cable industry does not object to what US WEST is proposing.
Lynn McReynolds, spokeswoman for the National Cable Television Association, said it is not unusual for telephone companies to work with cable companies.
"In some cases, telephone companies have built the entire physical plant for cable companies," said McReynolds. "If it's a good service, the cable industry is not going to turn its nose up just because it's a telephone company. That is very different from our big concern, which is telephone companies getting into the cable business."
This month, US WEST purchased a 10 percent stake in Lyonnaise Communications Inc., a French cable TV firm, for about $20 million.