Verizon weighs expanding Flex View VOD service to non-subscribers

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) last week offered a briefing on Flex View, a cross-platform video on demand service currently available to subscribers of FiOS TV. The news angle? The telco is weighing whether it should expand the service to non-subscribers, as well, on a nationwide basis, entering what already is a crowded field.

A NewTeeVee report says Verizon may be set to offer it across an array of over-the-top delivery devices, like Roku, putting it in head-to-head competition with services like iTunes, Amazon et al.

Verizon currently offers about 2,300 of its 24,000 on demand titles in a go-anywhere, watch-anywhere format to subscribers.

Dave Zatz, of the blog Zatz Not Funny, points out that Verizon, at least since CES in January, has been clear in its determination to bring its FiOS TV service to connected devices as an app. In that form, FiOS TV could be available via any connected device-TV, PC, phone or tablet-- regardless of the service provider.

Last August, you'll remember, Verizon gave a furtive peek at live TV on an iPad, saying it would be available initially only in a subscriber's home, just like Time Warner Cable's current partial live offering.

At the time, Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir, demonstrated the iPad app--called "What's Hot"--and described it as a "software set-top box," that showed a selection of programming viewers in a user's area are watching. Users can then tune into any of the shows by using the touch screen.

At the time, Verizon said it hoped for a commercial launch in about a year... no doubt it now wishes it had been a little faster on that trigger as both TWC and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) already have rolled out apps for the iPad.

For more:
- see this NewTeeVee article
- see this Zatz Not Funny article

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