Forecast: Verizon FiOS TV to near 5M subscribers by year's end

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) saw strong FiOS growth in the first quarter of 2012, and should continue to add subscribers through the year, a market report projected.

The communications company added 193,000 Internet subscribers and another 180,000 FiOS TV subscribers, leading up to a "promising" rest of 2012, Strategy Analytics said in its Service Provider Quarterly Recap and Guidance: Verizon report.

"Verizon has done an exceptional job of increasing its penetration in homes passed reaching 32.3 percent in the first quarter," Jason Blackwell, director of service provider strategies at the research firm, said. "Over the coming months, the company is going to shift from an expansion strategy to work even harder on converting customers in its existing footprint to FiOS Broadband and TV services."

SA noted that Verizon not only increased its subscriber base and penetration, but also saw the Average Revenue per User (ARPU) increase, too, as more customers have shifted to fiber from DSL.

Strategy Analytics said it expects Verizon's FiOS Broadband service to be taken by more than 5.6 million subscribers in 2012, and projected that the company will have nearly 5 million FiOS TV subscribers, representing a 5 percent share of the U.S. pay-TV market, by year's end.

"FiOS Broadband broke the 5 million subscriber plateau one quarter ahead of our initial forecast," said Richard Fontes, analyst in the SA Service Provider Strategies group. "More than half of FiOS customers are taking Broadband packages with speeds higher than the basic package, as well as bundling into triple play packages. This will lead to increasing blended ARPU for Verizon."

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
FiOS, U-verse add subs, and Verizon looks long on TVE
Verizon sees 'difficult negotiation' ahead for union deal
Verizon: Q1 earnings up 16%, FiOS subs increase by 180,000
Will Verizon, AT&T ride the surging video streaming wave?
Cities claim Verizon-cable spectrum deal shuts them out of FiOS service
Verizon expands its push for younger, tech-oriented FiOS subscribers
Verizon adds 194,000 FiOS subs in Q4; misses earnings estimates