Verizon's high-profile campaign to sign up FiOS subs by offering a free 19-inch Sharp HD television has become an embarrassment after Verizon had to admit the televisions would take up to 15 weeks to arrive. The nearly four-month delay prompted Verizon to write to FiOS subscribers offering them an alternative Magnates TV or a $200 Best Buy gift card. It has also withdrawn the offer.
Verizon said the delay was because Sharp has not been able to meet the demand. Verizon added 226,000 new IPTV subscribers in the final quarter in 2007 and expected to maintain that rate into 2008. Verizon also faced a delay in HDTV set-top boxes, which it said was also a supply problem with its vendor Motorola. The shortage came after a spike in orders during the holiday season saw subscriber numbers soar over a million, making the IPTV service the 10th biggest provider of television in the country.
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