Verizon Ups FiOS Rolls, Boasts Of Upscale Customers

WatchingTV

Verizon increased its subscriber rolls for its FiOS TV service in the second quarter at a faster pace than in the same period a year ago. The telco posted a net gain of 184,000 customers, above the 174,000 in the same period in 2010.

Verizon reported 3.8 million video customers at the end of June in markets from Boston to Los Angeles, Seattle to Tampa.

FiOS also appears to be improving its customer uptake, possibly grabbing share from competitors, as the penetration rate reached 30%, up from 25.9% last year.

FiOS was available in 16.1 million homes at the end of the second quarter, while AT&T had its telco TV service available in 29 million homes.

AT&T said Thursday it should complete its footprint for U-verse by the end of the year. FiOS plans to make the service available in 18 million homes, but CFO Fran Shammo said on a conference call Friday, that success could breed expansion. "Based on penetration rates into the future, we will make those decisions."

With ad sales, Verizon bills FiOS as an opportunity to reach upscale customers, saying the median household income for a FiOS TV home is 87% higher than the median for all U.S. homes.

Even as Verizon competes for customers, it has partnered with a group of cable operators, AT&T and DirecTV to stitch together a system allowing local ads to reach homes served by all of them in some markets. That system falls under the aegis of NCC Media.

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