Verizon Unbundles Pay TV Packages

Verizon Communications is making changes to its FiOS service. The company will offer new pay TV packages that promise to give customers the flexibility to buy only the groups of channels they actually want to watch, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Beginning April 19, FiOS customers can sign up for what the Journal described as a slim package of TV channels that would include Fox, ABC, AMC, CNN, Food Network and others. On top of that, customers can add EUchannel packs.EU

In terms of pricing, the Journal reported that the least expensive FiOS plan will run $55 a month. Customers can add on two additional channel packs, each offering between 10 to 17 channels, for $10 a month and can switch to different channel packs after 30 days.

EUCustomers want flexibility to turn channels on and turn channels off,EU Tami Erwin, president of Verizon FiOS, told the Journal.

Good for Consumers?

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his take on the issue. He told us the first question is whether or not this will save customers money. If customers choose wisely, they should be able to save money on the channels they watch, he said.

EUIf the customer gets to choose their own channels and make their own bundle, then this is a great idea,EU Kagan said. EUHowever, if Verizon chooses the bundles and puts similar channels in different bundle packages, forcing the customer to buy several bundles just to get the 10 to 20 channels they want, then this is not a good idea because the customer will still pay for more than they use.EU

Clearly, the pay television space is undergoing a rapid transformation. Kagan pointed to new competitors and new technologies that are spurring rapid change. He said he expects that to continue in the years ahead.


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