Verizon programs TV shows


LAS VEGAS -- Verizon Wireless announced Sunday that it will become the first major carrier to broadcast live full-length television episodes.

V Cast Mobile TV will include ad-supported programming from seven distinct channels culled from content partners CBS Corp., News Corp., NBC Universal and MTV Networks. Other content partners including ESPN are expected to eventually be added to fill a lineup that could allow as many as 20 channels, which will be delivered via Qualcomm's MediaFlo USA. The announcement was made at a news conference here on the eve of the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show.

"The service has something for everyone, it will be available on hot new handsets and is presented in a programming format that's familiar to any TV viewer," said John Stratton, executive vp and chief marketing officer at Verizon. "This is a real transformation of the American media market."

Scheduled to bow before the end of the first quarter, V Cast Mobile TV is not strictly a simulcast of existing networks. For instance, programming from Fox Broadcasting Co. and Fox News Channel will be combined into one channel.

To avoid conflict with network affiliates, the programming that will be provided already will have aired in its traditional broadcast window before getting to the mobile window.

The programming also will come with an accompanying listings grid. Verizon's current version of V Cast is comprised only of short-form video clips downloaded in an on-demand format.

Verizon did not disclose pricing on the V Cast Mobile TV. Two handsets will carry the service, made by Samsung and LG Electronics.