CFO: Verizon to Up Free Entertainment Offers on 5G, Sticking With Fios TV

Verizon has made news in recent years offering its wireless subscribers free 12-month access to Apple Music, Disney+, Discovery+ and most recently, Apple Arcade and Google Play Games. As the telecom expands its 5G Network nationwide, expect to see enhanced third-party entertainment options, according to CFO Matt Ellis.

Verizon CFO Matt Ellis

Speaking this week on the virtual Credit Suisse Communications Conference, Ellis didn’t have any new entertainment partners to announce, except to say that with the enhanced distribution options available with 5G, the entertainment options in the future would reflect the next-generation mobile phone and data communication standards.

“We got into video initially with Disney+ and it’s been a good one-and-a-half years now, right?,” Ellis said. “So we’ve had that out there and then, obviously, Discovery+ earlier this year. And so gaming was the obvious next piece to come there. And obviously, we’ve had that in the past couple of weeks with the Apple Arcade and Google Play. Too soon to already kind of see anything huge in the numbers, but certainly, the initial feedback is very much in line with expectations.”

Ellis said Verizon is analyzing what entertainment options, including live events, it could offer subscribers in a 5G world that wouldn’t be as possible in a 4G world.

“It is in line with how we’re thinking about it,” he said. “I’m not going to give anything away at this point, but certainly fair to say we expect there to be more to come.”

Separately, when asked whether Verizon might meld Fios TV into an online service in order to reduce content/distribution costs, Ellis said the telecom would be sticking with the pay-TV brand, which includes a broadband-only option.

“What we do in that space is we give customers choice,” Ellis said. “If a customer wants broadband only, we absolutely will do that for them. We love that proposition. We saw our customers who want the traditional TV package. We have that as well. It may not be as valuable to us as when we launched Fios over 15 years ago, but it’s also not a negative to the business either.”

 

Verizon Loses 82,000 Fios TV Subs in Q1, Adds 98K Internet Subs

Verizon Communications April 21 disclosed it lost 82,000 Fios TV pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31). The loss was a slight improvement from 84,000 subs lost in the previous-year period. The telecom ended the period with 3.7 million Fios TV subs — down 296,000 subs from more than 4 million last year.

Meanwhile, Verizon, like most ISPs, added high-speed Internet subs, including 98,000 in the quarter. That compared with a gain of 59,000 subs in the previous-year period. Total Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2021 were 102,000, the most Q1 total Fios Internet net additions since 2015. The company ended the fiscal period with 6.3 million — up 339,000 subs from last year.

Verizon is a promotional partner for Disney+, affording wireless subs free 12-month access to the streaming service.

“The strength in our core business is driving higher revenues and strong demand for our products and services,” CFO Matt Ellis said in a statement. “We delivered strong operational and financial performance, giving us positive momentum as we end the first quarter. High-quality, sustainable wireless service revenue growth, a recovery in wireless equipment revenues, strong Fios momentum and excellent Verizon Media trends led the way.”

 

Verizon Fios TV Subs Down Nearly 30% Through Nine Months

The pay-TV subscriber hits keep coming.

Verizon Oct. 21 reported that its Fios TV pay-TV service finished the third quarter (ended Sept. 30) with 3.92 million subscribers — down 6.6% from 4.2 million subs in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, Fios TV has jettisoned 277,000 subscribers, or 29.9% from the previous-year period.

Like most pay-TV operators, Verizon has seen an uptick in high-speed Internet subscribers requiring broadband to access over-the-top video services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

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Verizon reported 139,000 Fios Internet net additions, an increase from 30,000 Fios Internet net additions in third-quarter 2019, and 144,000 Fios Internet net additions across consumer and business, the most since fourth-quarter 2014.

Broadband subscriptions increased 4.1% to 6.1 million, from 5.9 million during the previous-year period. Through nine months, broadband subs have risen 96.2%, or 208,000 subs, since last year.

Verizon Loses 81K Fios TV Subs in Q2; Down 283K Subs From Last Year

Verizon’s status as a pay-TV operator continues to slip with the telecom operator July 24 disclosing it lost 81,000 Fios TV subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. The telecom has lost 283,000 Fios TV subs in the past 12 months, ending the period with 3.98 million.

Verizon added 10,000 broadband subs, bringing it high-speed Internet sub base to nearly 6 million.

With more than 115 million wireless subs, Verizon was a a go-to launch partner for Disney+, helping the SVOD newbie quickly gain market traction in the U.S. offering free 12-month service to all new and existing wireless subscribers, as well as new Fios and 5G customers.

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This month Verizon inked a deal with ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV deal affording wireless subs access to Pluto’s myriad channels featuring on-demand content from Paramount Pictures, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, among other sources. Starting today some Verizon devices will update to add Pluto’s 250+ original and branded channels.

In 2018, Verizon shut down its go90 ad-supported streaming video service after a three-year run, resulting in a near $1 billion write-down — and the subsequent exit of CEO Lowell McAdam.”

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New CEO Hans Vestberg said the telecom remains focused on its strategic direction, quickly adapting to the new retail environment during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have embraced, engaged in and responded to important social movements happening throughout the world, and will continue to be at the forefront of initiatives that move the world forward for everyone,” Vestberg said in a statement.

Law&Crime Network Bows on Verizon Fios TV

Law&Crime, a true crime and live trial streaming network, is now available on Verizon Fios TV. Available on Sling TV, fuboTV, Philo, Vidgo, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, TV Plus as well as select basic cable providers in the U.S. and the Caribbean, Law&Crime is creating and acquiring original programming as part of its daily lineup and unscripted series portfolio.

Original programming includes “The Daily Debrief” and “Brian Ross Investigates,” hosted by former ABC Chief Investigative Correspondent, Brian Ross.

Dan Abrams

The network, founded by will continue producing original documentary-style programs on high profile trials for other cable networks through its production arm, Law&Crime Productions, and will now be adding trial documentaries to its own primetime lineup.

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Most recently, the network led national coverage of the Harvey Weinstein trial and provided the only live coverage with daily analysis of the high-profile murder trial of wealthy real estate scion Robert Durst.

“The evolution and expansion of Law&Crime has exceeded my wildest expectations and hopes” said Law&Crime Founder/CEO, Dan Abrams. “Our growth from digital to OTT to cable is a tribute to the viewer appetite for the true crime genre but the key for us has been in becoming the dominant player in the live trial space. Verizon Fios and Cincinatti Bell are two key launches for the network in the cable space with many more to come.”

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In addition to Weinstein and Durst, over the past 12 months, the network has led the nation’s coverage of other high profile trials including the murder trial of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, the Brooke Skyler Richardson trial, and the case of Chris Watts who admitted to killing his wife and daughters in Colorado.

In April, Law&Crime generated record numbers of more than 80 million cross-platform minutes viewed and an average watch-time of 30 minutes.

Verizon Lost 222,000 Fios TV Subs in 2019

Verizon Communications Jan. 30 disclosed it lost 222,000 Fios TV subscribers in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019. The telecom lost 51,000 subs in the fourth quarter to end the year with more than 4.2 million pay-TV subs, compared with more than 4.4 million subs at the end of 2018.

Following a trend among linear TV operators also providing high-speed Internet, Verizon reported 35,000 Fios Internet net additions in the quarter, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings.

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Verizon ended 2019 with more than 6.2 million broadband subscribers, an increase of 161,000 subs from the end of 2018.

Fios revenue remained relatively flat, primarily due to the demand for broadband offerings, offset by the impact of video subscriber losses.

Meanwhile, the telecom continues to push its legacy mobile phone business and next-generation 5G network functionality, including the launch and build-out of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.

The company reported 852,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in the quarter, which included 588,000 phone net additions, up 12.6% year over year, and 305,000 related connected device net additions, primarily wearables, partially offset by tablet net losses of 41,000. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 723,000.

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“Our 5G footprint continues to grow as we lead this era of transformational change by building these next-generation networks the right way,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

 

Verizon Revamps Pay-TV, Internet Options

Verizon, which has a declining Fios TV subscriber base and scant over-the-top video options (except for free Disney+), Jan. 9 announced it is reorganizing Fios options to consumers for television and high-speed Internet.

The telecom’s customers can now mix Internet and TV plans to match their needs, with Fios Internet plans starting at just $39.99 per month. “Mix & Match” also eliminates annual contracts.

“Customers are tired of having to buy a bundle with services they don’t want to get the best rates, and then discover that those rates didn’t include extra fees and surcharges,” Frank Boulben, SVP of consumer marketing and products, said in a statement. “We’re putting an end to the traditional bundle contract and putting customers in control.”

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Indeed, Verizon is offering three broadband options: 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps and Gigabit Connection. For new subscribers who choose Gigabit, the telecom is including a free Fios Home Router featuring WiFi 6 technology, a $100 Visa Prepaid Card and a year of Disney+.

Consumers also get a free month of YouTube TV or the option to choose five Fios TV channels from almost 200 available networks, in addition to mainstays ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Telemundo and Univision.

Verizon lost 220,000 Fios TV subs in the third quarter underscoring ongoing secular changes how consumers are watching television in the home — notably the rise of over-the-top video options such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, in addition to online TV platforms such as Sling TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now, among others.

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Verizon, which lost $1 billion in the short-lived go90 mobile video app venture, ended the quarter with 4.2 million Fios TV subs. That compared to more than 4.4 million in the previous-year period.

Verizon Loses 220,000 Fios TV Subs in Third Quarter

The pay-TV subscriber drain is getting bigger and bigger.

A day after Comcast Cable said it lost 238,000 video subscribers in the fiscal quarter, Verizon Oct. 25 disclosed it jettisoned 220,000 Fios TV subs in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30.

The losses underscore ongoing secular changes in how consumers are watching television in the home — notably the rise of over-the-top video options such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, in addition to online  TV platforms such as Sling TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now, among others.

Verizon, which doesn’t have an OTT video play after losing $1 billion in the short-lived go90 mobile app venture, ended the quarter with 4.2 million Fios TV subs. That compared to more than 4.4 million in the previous-year period.

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The telecom is countering a lack of internal OTT features by embracing next-generation 5G and inking a partnership with Disney for the latter”s pending SVOD platform Disney+.

Subscribers to Verizon’s unlimited data plan will get one-year free access to the $6.99 monthly Disney streaming service.

Verizon did add 30,000 Fios broadband subscribers, which was down from 48,000 net additions in the previous-year period. The telecom ended the quarter with more than 5.8 million broadband subs, up from more than 5.7 million last year.

The company added 440,000 mobile phone subs, which was up from 295,000 phone net additions in third-quarter 2018.

In a statement, CEO Hans Vestberg ignored Fios, highlighting instead Verizon’s legacy wireless business and 5G initiatives.

“Verizon continued its momentum in the third quarter by driving strong wireless volumes in both our consumer and business segments, while delivering solid financial results, highlighted by continued wireless service revenue growth, increased cash flow, and EPS growth,” Vestberg said in a statement. “We are focused on our 5G rollout strategy, looking to deploy next-generation networks while enhancing our 4G LTE network. Going into the fourth quarter, we are energized by the strong performance of the business and we are confident in our strategy to drive value for our customers and growth for our shareholders.”

Movies Anywhere Launches on Verizon Fios

Movies Anywhere — the digital movie collection app — is now available to Verizon Fios TV customers.

Media Play News first reported the impending deal Sept. 25.

Fios TV customers with purchased movie titles from participating studios — Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment — can collect their library on Movies Anywhere.

Movies purchased from other participating digital retailers, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, and Fandango Now, will also be available for playback through Verizon Fios.

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To join Movies Anywhere, Fios customers can:

  • visit com/moviesanywhere or MoviesAnywhere.com to sign up for a free Movies Anywhere account;
  • connect Fios and other participating digital retailer accounts;
  • see eligible purchased and redeemed movies appear on Movies Anywhere and on all synced accounts;
  • go to “My Stuff” to watch on Fios TV On Demand; and
  • continue to grow their library by purchasing eligible movies on Fios On Demand through their set-top-box, online, the Fios TV app or by selecting Verizon through the Movies Anywhere website or app for mobile and connected TV devices.

 

Movies Anywhere is a free app that lets consumer bring their purchased digital movies from various digital retailers into one place.

Verizon Widens Q2 Fios TV Sub Loss 37%

Verizon Aug. 1 disclosed it lost 52,000 Fios TV subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. That compared with a loss of 38,000 pay-TV subs in the previous-year period.

Through the first six months of the fiscal year, Verizon has shed 107,000 video subs, which is up 75% from a sub loss of 61,000 subs during the previous-year period.

The wireless carrier ended the period with 4.27 million Fios TV subs — down 217,000 subs since last year as consumers migrate to alternative distribution channels, including over-the-top video.

At the same time, Verizon saw high-speed Internet subscription growth declined 22% to 28,000 from growth of 36,000 last year. Through June 30, the carrier has 76,000 broadband subs – down 22% from the addition of 98,000 subs last year.

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Verizon ended the period with 5.83 million Fios Internet connections, which was up 3.1% from 5.66 million connections last year.

Separately, Verizon continues to promote 5G wireless network mobility.

The carrier July 31 rolled out 5G networks in Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. The cities followed similar 5G functionality launches in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Providence, R.I., and St. Paul, Minn.

“Verizon made history this quarter by becoming the first carrier in the world to launch 5G mobility,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement. “We are focused on optimizing our next-generation networks and enhancing the customer experience while we head into the second half of the year with great momentum.”