Verizon to expand local TV services

Company eyes markets outside Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications is aiming to offer local television services in markets beyond the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, a spokesman for the company said on Wednesday.

Verizon made the comment after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was planning to offer a local television channel for the New York market this summer, in a story that cited people familiar with the matter.

Verizon spokesman Eric Rabe declined to comment on specific plans for the New York market but said that the company is interested in offering local services in all markets where it offers its FiOS television service.

"We would look at every FiOS market as a place to do a local news service as we have done in metropolitan Washington, D.C.," Rabe said.

It said that its local TV service in northern Virginia and Maryland was among the top 20% viewership of all the channels it carries in those D.C. metropolitan area markets.

The service includes content such as weather reports and local sports news as well as feature stories.

Telephone service providers Verizon and AT&T have been building out television services in recent years to help them compete with cable providers such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable.