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Verizon FiOS Starts Selling Full TV Seasons

Telco Phasing Out ‘Flex View’ Brand As It Expands Its Electronic Sell-Through Offering (UPDATED) 3/03/2014 1:13 PM Eastern

Applying some additional pressure on Comcast and the MSO’s recently launched electronic video store, Verizon Communications said it has begun to sell dozens of complete TV seasons through its multiplatform electronic sell-through (EST) service.

Verizon is now picking up on the bingeing trend by bundling the sale of full TV seasons. Verizon said it now selling current and past seasons from more than 140 TV series, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Castle, Boardwalk Empire, and Lost, and expects that number to rise in the coming weeks and months.

Verizon’s “Feel Free to Binge” folder, meanwhile, offers for free more than 23 in-season TV series, including Glee, The Following, Parks & Recreation, The Voice, and Shark Tank.

Customers can playback purchased titles on several platforms, including FiOS TV set-tops, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, on Web browsers and in select Samsung-made smart TVs and Blu-ray devices. 

Verizon does not break out EST numbers, but said electronic sales have quadrupled since the telco introduced the option in 2010. According to NPD Group, Verizon Flex View held about 1% of the EST movies market for the period of June through August 2013. Apple iTunes held 61% of that market, followed by Amazon Instant Video (15%), the Sony PlayStation Store (7%), Vudu and Xbox Video (4% each) and Google Play (3%).

And don’t get too accustomed to the Flex View brand. Verizon, a spokesman said, will be phasing out the name in the coming months as the company looks to market its EST offerings under a unified “FiOS On Demand” brand.

Comcast  launched  its EST product, the Xfinity TV Store, last November and currently has a more modest selection of movies and TV shows for sale than Verizon and other competitors, but also expects that library to grow in the coming weeks and months. Of recent note, Comcast struck an EST deal with Warner Bros. Films and Television. 

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