NEW YORK and BURBANK, CALIF. - As more consumers turn to the Internet and on-demand TV services for entertainment, Verizon is introducing to its consumer broadband and FIOS TV customers an extensive, new lineup of entertainment and informational programming from ABC News, Disney Online, ESPN and Movies.com. Verizon is the only broadband provider to offer a full collection of content from Disney and ESPN Networks on both its consumer broadband and television platforms.
The launch follows the announcement in September of wide-ranging video and broadband content agreements between Verizon and The Walt Disney Company. The online programming includes live video news feeds, live sports events, children's entertainment and other content specially targeted to broadband Internet users. Other special broadband content includes live local sports action like the recent Villanova-South Florida men's basketball game aired live in the Tampa area on ESPN360, which is only available in that market via Verizon Online.
"The addition of rich content from Disney and ESPN Networks to our consumer broadband and FiOS TV services is another way we are continuously enhancing the value of broadband and our new fiber-optic network for Verizon customers," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group. "We're dedicated to providing video experiences like no other, using the very latest technologies and fastest networks to deliver the entertainment and information that every member of today's digital households wants, on their PCs, their TVs and ultimately other devices. We're bringing our customers video and entertainment on their own schedules, with unmatched quality, convenience and service."
Ben Pyne, president, Disney and ESPN Networks Affiliate sales and marketing, said, "Verizon is a premier broadband and TV service provider, and we're happy to be working together with them to provide their customers with service offerings for every member of the family from brands they know and trust. The Walt Disney Company is committed to making our content available to consumers however and wherever they want it. As broadband continues to grow, it's critical for us to offer our top properties to those turning to the Internet and video-on-demand for a quality entertainment experience."
The new broadband-enabled content, available to consumer Verizon Online DSL and Verizon FiOS Internet access customers at www.broadbandbeat.verizon.net, includes:
ABC News Now
ABC News Now is a 24/7 news channel that delivers live breaking news events, headlines every half hour, and a wide range of original news, lifestyle and entertainment programs like "Politics Live," "What's the Buzz" and "Healthy Life."
Disney Connection is a safe, ad-free, interactive environment for kids of all ages to explore fun-filled videos, games and activities featuring popular Disney characters. The Digital Showcase is updated weekly and includes a collection of movie trailers, music videos and classic Disney cartoon shorts.
ESPN360, ESPN's multi-dimensional broadband service, available at www.ESPN360.com, delivers high-quality video, featuring exclusive and live programming, unique behind-the-scenes coverage, and in-depth analysis from ESPN commentators. ESPN360 also offers fans access to single and multi-player video games, and the ability to customize all of this great content according to their interests. A plethora of event content ranging from condensed versions of the most recent College Bowl Games including the Rose Bowl, Winter X Games as well as hockey and basketball action from top schools are featured on ESPN360.
Movies.com Max is a new service of movie-related information and entertainment specifically programmed for broadband audiences, which is available for the first time through Verizon. Among its features are full-screen, high-quality, large-screen film trailers; exclusive video reviews of DVDs and films from Ebert & Roeper; and a comprehensive video archive of the Muppets' Statler & Waldorf from the Balcony humorous movie previews.
Later this year, SOAPNETIC, a broadband service from SOAPnet, will be added to the Verizon lineup.
Additionally, customers of Verizon FiOS TV, the company's fiber-optic television service, can now order more than 80 hours a month of free on-demand titles from Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Radio Disney, Jetix, ABC News, ABC Family, SOAPnet, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPNU.
This programming includes premieres of select series and original movies from Disney Channel, Jetix and Playhouse Disney seven days prior to their broadcast air dates. Children and families have already enjoyed the on-demand premieres of the Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical," "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "That's So Raven" prior to their broadcast airings. Upcoming series premieres include new episodes of "The Emperor's New School" and "Little Einsteins," as well as the Disney Channel Original Movie "Cow Belles," starring recording artists Aly & AJ.
For sports fans, ESPN and Verizon are also offering condensed replays of the major college basketball conference championships and fan favorites, like a condensed version of the upcoming Duke vs. North Carolina game and condensed versions of five of the best Duke/North Carolina matches in the past 20 years. ESPN Deportes On Demand will offer instant replays from some of the best UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) matches, and ESPNU On Demand will offer condensed hockey games and on-demand original series like "Honor Roll" and "The Season Weekly."
Verizon is also offering its FiOS TV customers new-release movies from Buena Vista Pay Television (BVPTV) on demand for $3.95 each, including the upcoming "Flightplan" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Starting April 1, BVPTV will offer an array of on-demand library titles for FiOS TV customers for $2.95 each that will include such classics as "Dumbo," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Three Men and a Baby," as well as recent audience favorites such as " Bad Santa," "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" and "Kill Bill: Vol. 2."
Verizon offers consumer broadband services with maximum connection speeds as high as 30 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. Consumers can get more information by visiting www.verizon.net/fios. Verizon FiOS TV is now available in communities in Texas, Florida, California, Virginia, New York and Massachusetts and is expanding to new markets this year.
About Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
About Disney and ESPN Media Networks
Disney and ESPN Media Networks' diverse portfolio contains the most compelling entertainment, sports and news content available to consumers today, including ABC Family, ABC News Now, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPNU , SOAPnet and Toon Disney. Delivering the most popular media brands with their passionate audiences, Disney and ESPN Media Networks brings content distributors exclusive opportunities across multiple platforms including broadband products such as ABC News Now, Disney Online's Disney Connection and ESPN360, as well as video on demand services, including Disney Channel on Demand and ESPN on Demand.
About Walt Disney Internet Group
Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) provides strategic leadership and operational management for The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) Internet properties including category leaders Disney.com, ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com. A market leader in developing and distributing entertainment and informational content to new platforms, WDIG is committed to creating and delivering products for broadband distribution including: Disney Connection; Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online and WDIG Motion, a proprietary video technology for broadband users. Through relationships with some of the world's largest wireless carriers, WDIG distributes content and services to wireless users under Disney and third-party brands. Additionally, WDIG has led the way in developing interactive content for televised programming through its Enhanced TV service. Steve Wadsworth is president of WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood and has operations in Seattle, New York, Orlando, Tokyo, London and Budapest.
About Buena Vista Pay Television
Buena Vista Pay Television (BVPTV) distributes movies domestically from The Walt Disney Company, including titles from Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films and Dimension Films. BVPTV licenses movies through a wide range of distributors and platforms including cable MSOs, satellite companies, internet distributors and other emerging technologies.
Bobbi Henson, Verizon Communications Inc., 972-718-2225
Karen Hobson, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group, 818-569-7789
Catherine Sloane Brett, ESPN, 860-766-4235
Brandy Phillips, Walt Disney Internet Group, 818-623-3764
Kim Harbin, Buena Vista Pay Television, 818-460-5066