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Report: Verizon to Launch SVOD Service in 2012

6 Dec, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Verizon Communications reportedly is readying a subscription video-on-demand service targeting 85 million households without access to its fiber-optic FiOS TV platform.

The unnamed SVOD service — which is set to launch in 2012 — would take on Netflix, Hulu Plus, cable and satellite TV operators, according to Reuters, which cited people familiar with the launch.

The Internet-enabled video platform would target movie catalogs similarly offered by Starz Entertainment and Epix, among others. 

Verizon’s FiOS TV service currently has about 5 million subscribers and includes programing from about 30 networks.

Speaking at an investor event in New York, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dismissed the possible threat of a Verizon SVOD service due to required content rights.

Hastings said that unless SVOD competitors are willing to spend appropriately for content, they won’t attract subscribers. He said only HBO will match Netflix’s content spending — or about $1 billion to $2 billion a year.

“If you want to compete with [us], you’d better commit to multiyear spending,” Hastings said. “At this point, none of those guys (Amazon, Google, Hulu Plus and Verizon) have chosen to do that.”

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