Verizon continued on pace to soon surpass Cablevision in the ranks of TV service distributors. The company increased its customer base for its FiOS service in the fourth quarter to raise its subscribers to 2.9 million -- just below Cablevision, which is the country's fifth-largest cable operator.
The 153,000 net new customers helped give Verizon a nearly 50% jump in FiOS TV subscribers for 2009, the company said Tuesday.
Cablevision is listed as serving 3.1 million homes, according to a cable trade group. The two compete for customers in the New York area.
The FiOS growth rate did slow somewhat in the October-December period, where the 153,000 net ads were down from the 181,000 experienced in the third quarter of 2009.
Verizon said about 25% of eligible FiOS customers (a total of 11.7 million) are subscribing to the heavily advertised service.
FiOS also has a companion Internet service, with 3.4 million customers at the end of 2009 -- 38% higher than at the same point a year ago.