Verizon's New Offer Including DIRECTV Available in Rhode Island Today

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Six weeks after introducing the innovative Verizon Freedom all-distance, flat-rate calling plan in Rhode Island, Verizon is now selling discounted service bundles that include DIRECTV® programming.

Verizon is activating a strategic marketing agreement with California-based DIRECTV -- first in Rhode Island, where the company is offering virtually customizable, discounted service bundles. Verizon's DIRECTV bundle, with Verizon Freedom unlimited nationwide calling and high-speed DSL that is comparable to the package offered by a leading cable TV competitor, will save customers various amounts each month depending on the competitor services compared and not including temporary promotional discounts. Customers who do not need unlimited calling still can assemble DIRECTV, calling and Internet packages with overall discounts at even lower costs.

Verizon will roll out similar bundles soon in additional Northeast Corridor states, and nationally later this year.

"Today's bundle launch is the next step in our progressive response to customers who want good deals on packaged services from a single source," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's retail markets group. "This is Verizon taking its preeminent position as a market-focused communications resource and solidifying it with our customers by adding a great deal on entertainment services."

Steve Cox, executive vice president, sales distribution and marketing, DIRECTV Inc., said, "By leveraging the strength of both brands along with our combined, compelling array of voice, video and data services, we offer consumers in Rhode Island a service package that is hands down a superior value and alternative to cable."

In addition to the variety of calling and Internet services available from Verizon, customers will have the ability to purchase a full complement of DIRECTV services, including access to more than 225 channels; the wide selection of sports subscriptions like the NFL SUNDAY TICKETTM; DIRECTV digital video recording technology; several channels of high-definition programming; and DIRECTV-delivered local channels in all major markets.

"Based on our experience with marketing discount package plans for voice and data services, we know that customers want to be able to order all their communications services with one call and pay for them with just one check," Ingalls said. "We enriched our offer in December with our Verizon Freedom Unlimited all-distance, flat-rate calling plan. And now with DIRECTV programming, we continue to have the package to beat - a package we will promote aggressively."

Verizon customers can select various combinations of local, regional toll and long-distance calling as well as dial-up or high-speed Internet access, adding discounts progressively, and creating annual savings that range from about $71 to more than $372 off list prices. For a discounted package that includes DIRECTV, customers must purchase all their calling services from Verizon.

New DIRECTV customers and new and existing Verizon calling plan and DSL customers can call Verizon for the DIRECTV offer. Verizon will take orders directly from new DIRECTV customers; DIRECTV will install the receiving equipment and facilitate follow-up and ongoing customer care for the DIRECTV service. The companies expect to have coordinated billing later this year on the Verizon bill.

Verizon is aggressively marketing its services in Rhode Island, reinforcing the quality, reliability and value of its network-based services in response to challenges by local cable companies now making early forays into cable telephony and by other telephone companies attempting to lure customers with discount calling plans.

The company reports that campaigns to win back customers who have left the network for alternate carriers or technologies are very successful, with many customers returning to Verizon. Most customers who return to Verizon report disappointment with the perceived value of the services they had purchased from cable and other suppliers.


DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 12.2 million customers. DIRECTV, the Cyclone Design logo and TOTAL CHOICE are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. (NYSE: HS). Hughes is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and services, and global video and data broadcasting. Hughes is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd.

The NFL SUNDAY TICKET is a registered trademark of the National Football League and its affiliates.

About Verizon

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.