Celebrate Black History Month with FiOS

Verizon FiOS is going the extra mile to conveniently bring its customers a treasure trove of content around Black History Month. Starting Feb. 1, FiOS subscribers can access a special Black History Month video on-demand (VOD) folder that includes programming from across the black entertainment spectrum, including movies, sports, documentaries and more.

Check out the following note from this week's edition of CableFAX Daily (.pdf) for details:

As Black History Month rolls around, so does a wealth of related programming. So much, it can be a little daunting to find it all, especially with so many different premiere dates throughout the month. That’s why some distributors, including Verizon FiOS and Comcast, are creating Black History Month VOD folders. “VOD as a platform allows us to aggregate this showcase, so that there’s only one place that customers need to remember,” said Joe Lawson, dir of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon. “You have multiple networks, several dozen hours of content and if you miss it on linear, it’s right there for them to see.” FiOS will be spreading the word through social media, its FiOS newsletter and barkers. “We do try to ask for exclusivity when possible. Often times with the free on demand content, that isn’t really an option, but nevertheless, we still ask,” said Mike Pannacciulli, Verizon dir of content strategy and acquisition. “This is the first time we’ve done this folder, and we’ll learn a lot from this. But we’ve also learned from a few folders in the past. We’re looking out for the year ahead now and starting to engage programmers to say, ‘Hey, here’s the tactics we’re looking at. Do you have content that will fit well in this? Let’s start the conversation now.’ And those programmers that are going to step up to the plate and offer us compelling content, those are the ones we’re going to work with.”

There is plenty to choose from. ESPN’s slate of VOD programming includes a panel led by Spike Lee, Robin Roberts and Bob Ley talking about black athletes as well as ESPN Films’ “Wendell Scott: A Race Story,” about how the first black man to win a race in NASCAR’s top series persevered in a sport dominated by white males. Music Choice has month-long campaign “The New Classic,” featuring a collection of videos and original content showcasing black music. Lifetime has a trio of films premiering and windowing on VOD, including “Betty & Coretta,” (Feb 2, 8pm) which details the friendship between Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett) and Dr Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige). Lifetime may not immediately bring to mind an African-American audience, but the demo has long been an important part of the net. Last fall’s “Steel Magnolias” remake with an all-black cast scored record ratings and multiple NAACP Image nominations. And the net’s 2nd most-watched movie of all-time is “The Fantasia Barrino Story,” which details how the African-American singer overcame sexual abuse, poverty and illiteracy.

Posted with permission from CableFAX. For more on how Verizon is celebrating Black History Month, check out Verizon Insider.