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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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.”

Follow us on Instagram

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 CEO: 800,000 Subs Can’t Pay Their Monthly Bill

Fallout from the economic shutdown across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic continues to reverberate with millions more filing for unemployment and not being able to pay their bills.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, appearing May 14 on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” said about 2.5% of the telecom’s subscribers (about 800,000) can’t pay their monthly bill.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“The majority of them already had a credit history with us … and we saw some challenges for them to pay their bills [due to the pandemic],” Vestberg said.

The executive said there has been a slight improvement (“not substantial”) in the past two weeks as the economy slowly jumpstarts operations and customers feel less stressed meeting financial obligations.

Follow us HERE on Twitter

“At least it’s not going in the other direction,” Vestberg said. The telecom earlier this month inked a distribution deal with ViacomCBS’s ad-supported VOD platform, Pluto TV.

Last month, Verizon disclosed it lost 84,000 Fios TV pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter ended March 31. The loss, which mirrored ongoing secular changes within the premium television ecosystem, was up more than 52% from a loss of 55,000 subs in the previous-year period.

Pluto TV, Verizon Ink AVOD Streaming Deal

ViacomCBS’s ad-supported VOD service Pluto TV continues its aggressive distribution strategy with a reported deal with Verizon encompassing both mobile and pay-TV.

Verizon, which has struggled to create a proprietary over-the-top video strategy, would use Pluto TV as a entry point into the AVOD market, which includes Fox-owned Tubi, Crackle, Shout! Factory TV, The Roku Channel, Xumo and IMDb TV, among others.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Verizon, which has 116 million wireless customers and 10 million combined FiOS TV and FiOS Internet subscribers, failed spectacularly with the short-lived go90 mobile streaming video service that resulted in a $1 billion loss for the telecom.

For Pluto TV, which ViacomCBS acquired last year for $340 million, the Verizon deal mirrors other recent deals with TiVo and AMC Networks. Pluto claims more than 20 million monthly active users, 170 content partners for largely catalog programming and more than 30 distribution partners, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Comcast’s Xfinity and Xbox 360.

Follow us on Instagram

Verizon Q1 Video Consumption Up 41%, Loses 84,000 Subs Regardless

Verizon April 24 disclosed it lost 84,000 Fios TV pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter ended March 31. The loss, which mirrored ongoing secular changes within the premium television ecosystem, was up more than 52% from a loss of 55,000 subs in the previous-year period.

The telecom continues to lose subs to alternative video distribution channels such as over-the-top, dropping 254,000 subs in the past 12 months to just stay above four million.

Follow us on Instagram

At the same time, Fios Internet added 59,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, in addition to 153,000 subs gained since last year.

Verizon said video consumption increased 41% during the quarter — a surge through April 13 that it attributed to increasing numbers of subs quarantined in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will emerge from this crisis stronger, knowing we provided critical connectivity to our customers, and especially our first responders, while maintaining our commitment to investing in our 5G and Fiber strategies,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Verizon Offering Subs Free At-Home Educational Tools and Entertainment

Verizon has joined a growing list of media distributors offering subscribers free access to content in the home as the country deals with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes millions to remain indoors, Verizon is giving subs learning tools from Quizlet, Epic and Chegg Study, as well as entertainment channels such as ViacomCBS’ Showtime and MGM’s Epix, among others.

“Connectivity is incredibly important during times of crisis, so we’re doing as much as we can to help meet the evolving needs of families at a time like this,” Ronan Dunne, CEO Verizon Consumer Group, said in a statement.

Follow us on Instagram

In April, Verizon wireless and Fios pay-TV subs will be able to experience up to 60 days of free access to education resources, tools and games at no cost, including: Quizlet: Students and teachers can get a Quizlet Plus account to study languages, science, math, history and more with engaging learning tools and flashcards.

Bookful: Children can bring books to life with hundreds of augmented reality and 3D interactive education books and games to improve comprehension.

Chegg: Students will have access to the new Chegg Study Pack with step-by-step textbook solutions, expert Q&A, practice tests, grammar and plagiarism checkers, and a step-by-step math solver.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Epic!: ​Parents and children will get access to Epic’s 40,000-book digital library, used by more than one million teachers.

Customers can visit Verizon.com or this link and follow instructions to access these services in April, as available.

Beginning April 1, Fios TV customers who don’t currently subscribe to select premium channels will get access to 30 days of free programming through their set top box, and with no extra sign-ups, including Showtime original series such as “Homeland” and “Billions,” as well as films and documentaries.

Epix original series, including “Godfather of Harlem” and “Belgravia,” premiering April 12, on Verizon. Gaiam TV Fit and Yoga instructional exercise videos, yoga, pilates and meditation.

Fios TV will give subs access to channels that may not currently be included in their subscription. Programmers offering expanded viewing of their content include news and entertainment outlets such as Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Discovery Family, BBC America and more. Customers will see additional channels available in their Fios TV listings on a rolling basis starting early next week.

Verizon is also pledging support to consumers impacted by COVID-19 through the launch of a weekly streaming music and entertainment series to support small businesses, waiving late fees and overage charges for residential and small business customers impacted by COVID-19, free international calling for consumer wireless and home voice customers to CDC level 3 countries, unlimited domestic calling for wireless consumers on limited-minute plans, waived activation fees on new wireless lines of service and upgrades, additional 15GB of high speed data automatically added for wireless consumer and small business customers, and a new Internet option for low-income households.

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.

Follow us on Instagram

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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“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.”

Follow us on Instagram

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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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 CEO: Free Disney+ Promotion a ‘Win, Win’

Following the Nov. 12 launch of the Disney+ subscription streaming service, Verizon began offering new and existing mobile subscribers 12 months of free access to the SVOD service.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told Fox Business response to the promotion has been strong. Indeed, 10 million consumers signed up for Disney+ in the first 24 hours, with 15 million reportedly becoming subscribers in the first five days — many due to the Verizon promo.

Verizon subs accessing Disney+ automatically transition to the $6.99 price plan after one year unless they cancel their membership.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We can partner with anyone, and we partner with the best brands and, of course, Disney+ is a win-win,” Vestberg said Dec. 5. “I mean, we are gaining and they are gaining in this partnership.”

Follow us on Instagram

The CEO wouldn’t disclose initial viewership data, saying the promo melds the telecom’s 5G partnership with Disney, which includes undisclosed initiatives with Disney Innovation Studios and theme parks.

Verizon had more than 156 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter this year.

“I think we both are very happy with … the start of [the relationship],” Vestberg said.

Hastings: Netflix Sub Numbers Not as Important as Time Spent Streaming

It’s no secret Netflix subscriber growth is slowing as the SVOD pioneer reaches market saturation. The service is projected to reach 165 million subs worldwide at the end of the current fiscal quarter, ending Dec. 31.

That reality at a time when high-profile competitors such as Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia and NBC Universal enter the streaming video wars underscores why Netflix co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings is hoping Wall Street and others will shift their focus from sub growth to viewing hours.

Speaking Dec. 6 at The New York Times DealBook confab in New York, Hastings said time spent streaming content should become the new metric underscoring a service’s success.

“You’ll hear some subscriber numbers but you can just bundle things so that’s not going to be that relevant,” Hastings said. “So the real measurement will be time — how do consumers vote with their evenings? What mix of all the services do they end up watching?”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Earlier this year Streaming Observer concluded Netflix subs worldwide spent 164.8 million combined hours a day watching content — and in the process used nearly 500 million GB of data on a daily basis.

Indeed, Hastings’ comment may ring true as nascent competitors such as Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max offer free service to in-house and third-party platforms such as Verizon and AT&T. Apple is offering its service free for one year with any Apple hardware purchase.

Netflix itself has a promotional free year of service with select T-Mobile service plans.

Hastings contends most consumers will subscribe to multiple services, reiterating that he will personally subscribe to Disney+ (“They have great shows!” he said) upon its Nov. 12 launch.

At the end of the day, Hastings is betting consumers will lean toward established brands with proven track records in the SVOD space.

“When you think, ‘Do I turn on cable, do I turn on YouTube, do I turn on Netflix?’ we want you to choose Netflix,” he said.

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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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.”