Verizon video franchises cover 1M households

Verizon's first-quarter results show that the company has secured television franchises covering 1 million households in nine states and has begun selling FiOS TV in select markets in seven of those states. The company is negotiating with municipalities around the country for about 300 more franchises. Verizon has reached 24 percent penetration in Keller, TX, where it launched FiOS TV in September 2005. Meanwhile, it has achieved penetration levels in the range of 9 percent to 12 percent in Florida, Texas and Virginia, where it has been selling FiOS TV for at least four months. This is halfway toward its goal of reaching 20 percent to 25 percent penetration in five years. Approximately 80 percent of FiOS video customers are "triple play" customers. Verizon now has 415,000 customers who receive a Verizon DirecTV bundle, up 66,000 from year-end 2005.

Overall, Verizon reported a 7.1 percent drop in first-quarter earnings, as strong growth in wireless services was offset by one-time costs and continued declines in its core land-line business. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg defended by saying, "Our goal is simple... to lead the industry, not necessarily in size but in profitable growth."

For more on Verizon's FiOS performance:
- check out the operator's press release
- go to this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

PLUS: AT&T will launch Lightspeed next month. Article