Verizon CFO Discusses Planned Internet Video Service

NFL Blackout Rule - H 2014
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NFL Blackout Rule - H 2014

"This is what we consider over-the-top mobile-first. Don't think of it as linear TV programming"

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo on Tuesday discussed the telecom giant's planned online video service.

‎Speaking at the 42nd annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, he reiterated previous company comments that "we will launch something near midyear 2015." Dish Network and Sony also have said they would launch so-called over-the-top, or online-based, video services.

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Describing what the service will feel like, he said: "This is what we consider over-the-top mobile-first. Don't think of it as linear TV programming. It is very different content."

He pointed to the company's sports offers on mobile phones as good examples for what to expect. "If you look at what we have done with the NFL, and we look at the usage patterns of our NFL agreement," Verizon has rights to give Verizon Wireless customers any game on a regional basis on Sunday and on a national basis on Monday, Thursday and Sunday nights.

"And you don't need a linear TV subscription to do that," Shammo said. "That is the kind of content deal that we are looking at, something you can take over mobile but has nothing to do with a linear TV or satellite subscription. This is a very different way to think about content."

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Multicasting will "play a very important role," he noted, highlighting that it enables efficient video delivery around live, real-time events. "People want to watch, when they are traveling, something that is real-time live they don't want to miss," Shammo said. "You are not going to replay a TV episode ‎on a mobile handset. That's not what the user wants."

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam previously said the over-the-top service could include broadcast networks, customized channels and other targeted content. "No one wants to have 300 channels on your wireless device," he said. 

Twitter: @georgszalai