updated 04:35 pm EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Verizon web vide service may hit in 2012
Verizon is planning its own rough equivalent to Netflix for those outside of its FiOS TV areas, insiders explained on Tuesday. Details weren't clear for Reuters' sources, but it would stream a subset of movies and TV for customers that didn't live in an area where its regular IPTV service was an option. It might go live sometime in 2012, but how much of a premium it would have, if any, wasn't apparent.
The exclusion of FiOS areas would likely be more to avoid angering channel providers. Many studios are still locked into traditional TV deals for most of their ad revenue and could object if they see viewers drop Verizon's TV service to go for cheaper and more flexible Internet viewing, where the ad revenue is growing, but typically much smaller.
Its move would partly echo Dish's Blockbuster Movie Pass and here would be a way of filling out its TV access without having to make an expensive deployment of its fiber optic network. A service would also put it into competition with not just Netflix but Amazon, Apple, and others that thrive on Internet video, and would have an advantage by being promoted side-by-side with Internet access.
The carrier isn't new to digital video and has offered it on phones, but it has usually turned to partners like Blockbuster to preload apps rather than go in for a full commercial movie service.
Verizon turned down a chance to comment.