Friday, March 30, 2007

Verizon does local TV

Another kick in the gut for local TV stations who are still living like its 1979!

From NewTeeVee:

"While a lot of what is planned for FiOS1 is what been traditionally called news — weather, traffic, local happenings — FiOS1’s plans also call for local sports (college, high school and even Major League Baseball) as well as… wait for it… USER-GENERATED CONTENT, from “trained” citizen video journalists Verizon has drafted and will send out into the streets with videocams, ready to film… not news, we guess.

It’s a local information channel,” said Verizon spokesperson Sharon Cohen-Hagar, who we spoke (and emailed) with Thursday afternoon. While Cohen-Hagar didn’t want to comment on our observation (also pointed out by Karl at BroadbandReports) that FiOS1 sounds an awful lot like cable TV local-access programming — the kind of thing that Verizon has lobbied heavily against — she did say that FiOS1 wouldn’t be “a place where someone spends two hours talking about something.” She did say it would offer “local content you can’t get anywhere else.”

From MultiChannel News:

"The D.C. channel, headed by former ABC news producer Michelle Webb, will provide “Traffic on the 1s” and "Weather on the 5s.” News content will be provided by WUSA9, the Gannett-owned local CBS affiliate.

Verizon’s first original local programming for FiOS1 is a show called Push-Pause, produced in collaboration with HyperLocal News Productions, which features segments by “trained citizen-video journalists.”

The channel also will feature 20 hours of sports programming per week, including some Georgetown University, George Mason University and high-school games. FiOS1 plans to develop a northern-Virginia high-school sports highlights show, Game Day TV, a 30-minute preview of the upcoming games and a wrap-up of the week's past ones.

Another FiOS1 program, Limbo Local, will let viewers bid on consumer electronics via their mobile phones, with the lowest unique bid at the close of the auction winning the prize. FiOS1 subscribers will also be able to play online, and Verizon Wireless will offer its own version of the game to V CAST subscribers. Prizes will include a 40-inch LCD HDTV and a Blu-ray progressive DVD player."

DSL Forum post:

"As Verizon lobbyists work to eliminate the local video franchise system, consumer advocates point out that such moves can result in the death of public access. Instead of offering local access, Verizon is launching their own FiOS-branded TV channel (FiOS1), which will provide weather, traffic and news."

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