Verizon Boosts Video Content With CBS Deal - InformationWeek

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1/13/2009
01:23 PM
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Verizon Boosts Video Content With CBS Deal

The deal means Verizon users will be able to watch full episodes of shows like "60 Minutes" on the go with the V Cast service.




Users can view CBS shows on the go with Verizon's V Cast service on phones like the LG Viewty.
(click for image gallery)

Verizon Wireless is beefing up its mobile TV offerings by partnering with CBS in a new content deal.

The wireless operator has gained the exclusive rights to several full episodes of CBS programming, including prime-time, daytime, and news shows such as 60 Minutes. Users will be able to view these episodes on the go with Verizon's V Cast service, which is available on phones like the LG Viewty.

"We are extremely pleased to have reached this broad long-term agreement that recognizes the value of our programming," said Leslie Moonves, CBS's president and CEO, in a statement. "Verizon subscribers will have continued access to the No. 1 TV network not only through FiOS TV, but also through V Cast on the mobile phone, which enhances our profile on a key emerging platform."

Carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have spent billions building and deploying over-the-air television services. Until recently, these services only offered clips of popular shows because of data networks and licensing deals. These services haven't gained much traction with customers though, partly because of the monthly service fee, which ranges from $5 to $15.

Exclusive content deals may become increasingly important for the carriers, as their mobile TV services will be getting some competition later this year. A coalition of broadcasters has agreed to a standard and said they will provide free, over-the-air programming for mobile devices. It's unclear what type of programming this service will include, but it definitely will have local news and shows.

The content deal also includes Verizon's digital fiber-optic TV service, as FiOS owners can now get on-demand shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, Survivor, and Numb3rs in standard or high-definition format.

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