News

FiOS Debuts Suite of 6 HD Nets

9/21/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

Six startup HD networks — with original programming about cars, comedy, pets, travel, food and entertainment — will debut later this year with launches on Verizon Communications' FiOS TV video service, according to officials.

The new HD channels Cars.TV, Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, MyDestination.TV, ES.TV and Recipe.TV have been created by Entertainment Studios, which bills itself as the largest independent producer and distributor of first-run syndicated shows for TV stations.

“What is unique here is all of our content is originally produced by us and is in 1080i HD,” said Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Entertainment Studios.

Although Entertainment Studios plans to debut its channels on Verizon, the six HDTV networks will not be exclusive to that telco, according to Allen.

Entertainment Studios is “in advanced conversations” with other distributors, including cable, and Lindsay Gardner, former president of affiliate sales and marketing for Fox Cable Networks, has been consulting on the launch of the six-network HD suite, Allen said.

Verizon has said it will have 150 HD networks, “and they've allocated approximately 4% of that capacity, six channels, to us,” Allen said. He added that Verizon is paying license fees for the new HDTV services.

“They are paying us sub fees, and the sub fees are very substantial,” Allen said.

Cars.TV showcases auto collectors, designers and car enthusiasts. Pets.TV celebrates pets and their owners. Comedy.TV offers a mix of live performances, talk and variety shows. MyDestination.TV is dedicated to travel, while ES.TV will focus on entertainment news and celebrity profiles. And Recipe.TV is about famous chefs and food.

October