09.09.2008

Verizon Launches FiOS TV in Washington State With 98 HD Channels, Free DVR Offer

EVERETT, Wash. - The future of television has arrived for thousands of Puget Sound-area consumers as Verizon, the nation's fastest-growing television service provider, announced Tuesday (Sept. 9) the launch of its industry-leading FiOS TV service in Washington. The service offers 98 HD channels, giving customers more HD channels than Comcast.


More than 80,000 households in Washington can now order and enjoy the ultimate home-entertainment experience of FiOS TV service and have the option of Verizon's FiOS Freedom bundle - comprising FiOS TV, FiOS Internet and reliable landline telephone service - for as little as $99.99 a month.


In addition, new customers who subscribe to FiOS TV by Oct. 4 will receive their choice of a year's free use of either a high-definition (HD) digital video recorder (DVR) or an HD Home Media DVR. Verizon is also offering new FiOS TV customers, or existing customers who upgrade to a bundled package, one free month of HBO and Cinemax, which includes the latest hit movies, documentaries and original programming from more than 25 premium channels and access to hundreds of titles on video on demand (VOD).  New customers who take advantage of this offer will save between $200 and $260 the first year, depending upon the DVR customers choose.


With the immediate availability of FiOS TV to customers in parts of Bothell, Brier, Everett, Edmonds, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Woodway and Snohomish County, and the rapid expansion into more communities in the coming months, Verizon will compete aggressively against the local cable providers for customers.


'Liberation Day for Cable TV Subscribers'


"This is liberation day for cable TV subscribers in Washington," said David S. Valdez, senior vice president for Verizon's Northwest region. "Verizon's FiOS TV and FiOS Internet services deliver unmatched speeds, incredible picture-and-sound clarity and innovative new services with a brand people know and trust. We already have thousands of consumers using our voice and super-fast Internet services. Based on consumer reaction in states where we already offer FiOS TV, we expect a huge wave of customers to choose FiOS TV as the better choice than their previous TV provider."


At the end of the second quarter, Verizon announced that it had 1.4 million FiOS TV subscribers and nearly 2 million FiOS Internet subscribers nationwide. Verizon launched FiOS TV in 2005.


Over the past several months, the company has secured local franchise agreements with 13 local city and county councils: Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Redmond, Woodinville, Woodway and Snohomish County. Verizon is negotiating further agreements that will pave the way for the continued expansion of FiOS TV in Washington.


"The launch of FiOS TV is great news for consumers who have waited a long time for true competition and a superior choice of television service for their homes," said Kathy Koelle, West Coast general manager for Verizon. "Only Verizon delivers all-digital TV service over an all-fiber-optic connection to the consumer's doorstep. The unparalleled capacity of our advanced network delivers more HD channels, faster Internet speeds and innovative services that Comcast can't match. Period."


Verizon offers its FiOS Internet service in parts of 16 states, and Washington becomes the 14th state to have FiOS TV. 


FiOS TV Service Highlights


FiOS TV represents an excellent value when compared to competitors' offerings, which typically include fewer channels at a higher price.


Service highlights include:



  • More than 250 all-digital standard-definition channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, shopping, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.


  • Availability in the Washington market of up to 98 high-definition channels with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.


  • A library of more than 11,000 VOD titles each month, 70 percent of which are free. The VOD library also includes an increasing number of HD titles. By year-end, Verizon plans to offer 1,000 HD VOD titles per month.


  • An innovative interactive media guide (IMG) that helps customers quickly and easily find and enjoy content from TV listings, video-on-demand catalogs and the digital video recorder (DVR) as well as personal music and photos from a home network.  Among the features of the IMG are:



    • Multi-Room DVR - Verizon's Home Media DVR allows customers to stream recorded HD and standard-definition (SD) programs to up to six other TV sets throughout the home.  This includes the ability to watch three separately recorded shows on three TV sets at the same time, plus pause recorded programming in one room and continue watching in another.


    • Widgets - Customers have one-touch, on-demand access to local weather and traffic reports shown on TV screens, while they're watching their favorite shows.  Widgets provide local traffic and weather reports, daily local and national news headlines, daily national sports headlines, community news, and daily horoscopes.


    • Free casual games - With the remote control and an HD set-top box, customers can access chess, solitaire and wordplay.


    • "What's Hot on FiOS TV" - Features information on the most-popular programs currently being broadcast in the region and the most popular VOD titles.


    • "Wait for Me" - Allows customers to pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up where they left off. 


    • Channel sorting options - Customers can create two separate lists of favorite channels for family members.  Customers also can filter channels in the guide by genre, for instances where a customer may only want to see HD content, international channels or kids programming, among others.

FiOS TV also features diverse entertainment in a variety of languages. Spanish-speaking viewers can choose La Conexion, a package of nearly 140 popular English and Spanish-language channels for $37.99 per month, or a Spanish-language package for $11.99 per month. Verizon also offers a variety of international premium channels in languages such as Chinese, French, Italian, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.


Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network is currently under construction in parts of 16 states.  In addition to Washington, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.


Consumers can visit www.verizonfios.com or call 1-888 WOW FIOS (1-888-969-3467) to find out if FiOS TV is available at their residence.


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 69 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 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.


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