Verizon CEO hints at a la carte pricing for video

LAS VEGAS--Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said his company is being pressured by consumers to offer a la carte pricing for its FiOS TV service and he believes this is a concept worth considering.

The company, which offers FiOS TV service to 5.5 million customers, can track how much a customer watches each channel and McAdam hinted that this would make a la carte pricing feasible.

Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters conference here Tuesday, McAdam also said he does not envision implementing data caps for Verizon's FiOS broadband service, although the company does enforce data caps on its wireless data service. "Because we did fiber to the home, it doesn't matter," he said. "I don't see a horizon with data caps being put in place."

However, he did leave the door open to having different data pricing tiers for customers who might want to pay a lower monthly fee because they use only a small amount of data.

McAdam's appearance at the NAB show was interesting considering that broadcasters have always had a fairly contentious relationship with telecom operators over spectrum. Perhaps that was why there were so many empty seats at McAdam's one-on-one discussion with NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.

McAdam also used the NAB show to sooth broadcasters that may have some concerns about the company's plans for LTE Broadcast technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, McAdam publicly discussed his desire to use LTE Broadcast to broadcast live events like the 2014 Super Bowl to Verizon's customers.

McAdam said he doesn't plan to replace traditional broadcast TV because the majority of people will want to watch the 2014 Super Bowl in their homes over their existing television. "We don't want to get in the way of broadcasters," McAdam said. However, he added that there may be specific events like the Super Bowl where Verizon could "add a dimension and it becomes better."

Related articles:
Verizon: FiOS Flex View on demand service is a retention tool
Samsung, Verizon expand FiOS TV app
Verizon's $549 million Calif. investments target Comcast, CLECs
Verizon's Shammo: We'll convert 300,000 homes to fiber in 2013
Verizon's Shammo: 50 Mbps is FiOS' sweet speed spot
Verizon FiOS lifts wireline consumer revenues to $14 billion in 2012