Uncommon Wisdom

Jan 4 2008   8:59PM GMT

Verizon’s FiOS plans cause more cable angst

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Verizon’s FiOS plans in 2008 include obtaining some franchises in major metro centers and increasing its HD channel count to 150, both of which are likely to cause further angst for the cable companies. In the former area, Verizon faces the issue of efficient delivery to multiple dwelling units (MDUs), a technical step that it’s been working to resolve through the use of in-building fiber or MoCA cable. The latter step is simply a matter of getting the business relationships in place, since FiOS has ample capacity to deliver virtually any number of HD channels. The current Comcast-satellite war over who has the most HD will be moot when Verizon gets its full complement of channels. All of this will be fueled in part by the digital transition that is scheduled for mid-2009. The coupons for customer conversion for over-the-air sets limited to analog tuning will launch shortly, and the campaign to prepare the market is expected to create a major surge in HDTV sales in 2008 and 1H09, making the question of who has the most HD channels an important marketing point.

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