11.19.2008Personal Tech

New Verizon Video Distribution Network Launched to Carry More Entertainment Content for Broadband Customers

NEW YORK - To meet the dramatic increase in demand from consumers and content providers for online video services, Verizon intends to provide its broadband customers with a richer menu of choices delivered over a new content-delivery network now in operation.

Verizon can now begin to offer movie studios, entertainment networks, download services and others a faster, more efficient connection with the company's 8.5 million broadband customers, under a strategic alliance with Velocix, the U.K.-based digital asset-delivery network provider. 

"Verizon is now positioned to offer content owners and video distributors a competitive choice in delivering their services to our broadband customers," said Marjorie Hsu, Verizon vice president for network technology.  "With our new delivery capability, content owners will be drawn to our networks, and our customers will be the beneficiaries of a broad range of compelling content services."  

In response to the burgeoning market for video and multimedia services over broadband, Verizon and Velocix have put commercial and technological arrangements in place to create a new-generation content delivery network (CDN) that benefits the operational models and strategic goals of both parties.

Velocix technology will be deployed in the Verizon backbone network to reinforce Verizon's network design, offering content owners and distributors a new, efficient pathway to Verizon customers.  The Velocix platform expands beyond typical CDN features and also includes peer-to-peer (P2P) CDN capabilities to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving P2P-based media-distribution industry.

The new CDN will be used to distribute content that Verizon contracts for directly with content owners like movie studios, TV networks, video rental sites and entertainment services,  and also  to distribute content from content owners with which Velocix has agreements of its own -- all at competitive speeds and costs. As a first step, Verizon has arranged for Velocix to begin delivering Starz Entertainment's Starz Play broadband entertainment service to Verizon broadband customers.

"The combination of Verizon and Velocix is a powerful one," Hsu said. "While others worry about fitting existing video content onto their facilities or setting up entire business units to promote content delivery, Verizon is focusing on making more content available for consumers via this alliance with Velocix."

John Dillon, chief marketing officer at Velocix, said, "Working together with Verizon, we have pioneered a new digital delivery solution that is both revolutionary and game-changing in terms of performance and economics. Our collaboration significantly improves delivery performance for both Verizon and for our own customers."

 In the case of Starz Play, Verizon is efficiently delivering and offering Starz Entertainment's movie and video content service to more than 8.5 million Verizon customers.  In May, Verizon and Starz Entertainment executed a comprehensive, multiyear agreement that brought exclusive hit movies from Starz to Verizon's broadband subscribers and the full array of Starz products to Verizon's FiOS TV and FiOS Internet and High Speed Internet (digital subscriber line) customers.  

Verizon was the first affiliate to launch Starz's innovative new broadband video service last spring.  Starz Play service provides unlimited online subscription access to more than 2,500 movies and video selections on demand, in addition to a live stream of the Starz premium pay TV movie channel.

Verizon's broadband customers can visit www.verizon.net/starzplay and subscribe to Starz Play.  Subscribers can access the service anywhere in the U.S. to watch live Starz programming and to download and view movies and videos an unlimited number of times at no additional charge.

Subscribers can also transfer downloads to their laptop computers and a growing family of compatible portable video devices for the freedom of on-the-go viewing.  Titles are typically available for unlimited viewing for at least four months.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

Velocix (www.velocix.com) offers the broadest and most innovative range of digital delivery services available today. The Velocix global network provides an Internet fast lane for digital assets such as video, music, software and games. With Velocix, high quality streamed video plays uninterrupted from start to finish and file downloads complete without failure in a fraction of the time. Velocix is relied upon globally by owners of large digital assets to provide unparalleled quality of service and delivery performance, with affordable economics. Velocix does all this whilst providing new levels of control over the global digital asset distribution chain.