money digest


News Corp., VeriSign pact

News Corp. and VeriSign plan to close a joint venture deal Wednesday that will give News Corp. a controlling stake in VeriSign's Jamba unit, the companies said Monday. The venture combines Jamba and Fox Mobile Entertainment assets to create what News Corp. said will be a leading global provider of mobile entertainment. Lucy Hood, who was president of Fox Mobile Entertainment, will become the company's CEO.

Verizon makes push for FiOS TV

Telecommunications firm Verizon Communications said Monday that it has signed up 89,000 FiOS TV video subscribers during the fourth quarter, to end 2006 — the service's first full year — with 207,000 users. The company said it plans to aggressively push FiOS TV, which competes with cable and satellite TV, this year despite the high cost involved. Verizon predicts the costs for the expansion of its fiber network will drag profit down by 30 cents-34 cents a share in 2007, with costs peaking in the first quarter at 11 cents per share.

Starcom counting seconds

Media planning and buying agency Starcom USA has become the first such group to buy a subscription to TiVo Inc.'s new Stop||Watch ratings service. The DVR pioneer recently launched the offer as the first second-by-second program and commercial ratings research service for timeshifted TV viewing. Starcom said it wants to analyze how fast-forwarding through content affects ratings and audience engagement.