FiOS Flips on YouTube

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Skateboarding cats will
be riding fiber optics into FiOS
TV customers’ homes.

Verizon Communications will offer
nearly all the videos from Google’s
YouTube to FiOS TV subscribers,
making the telco the first pay-TV
provider to distribute content from
the Internet’s No. 1 video site.

The point? For Verizon to brag that
it’s beaten cable to the punch with
another (allegedly) cool feature. FiOS
lets “TV and Internet worlds seamlessly
come together to create experiences
cable can’t deliver,” Verizon
vice president of consumer strategy
Shawn Strickland said in announcing
the new feature.

Verizon also is widely launching
an Internet radio service on
FiOS TV, with access to live audio
streams from more than 800
stations nationwide, via a partnership
with Clear Channel’s

Financial terms of the agreements
were not disclosed. The
YouTube clips on FiOS TV will
not include advertising, Verizon
spokeswoman Deidre Mulcahy
Hart said.

Most YouTube videos will
be available on FiOS TV. But
there are some exceptions, such
as when a content owner restricts
a video clip’s usage — for
example, if a movie studio wants
a trailer shown only on the Web,
Mulcahy Hart said.

While YouTube is the biggest
video Web site, it has been accused
of achieving its popularity by misappropriating
content. Viacom in
2007 sued YouTube, alleging massive
and deliberate copyright infringement,
in a lawsuit that is still
pending (see “Viacom: Google a Pirate’s
Den,” April 19, p. 8).

Both the YouTube access and Internet
radio stations are part of Verizon’s
Media Manager service, which
already lets subscribers search and
view user-generated content from
online video-sharing sites,
Dailymotion and Veoh.

FiOS TV also off ers on-screen
access to Facebook and Twitter
accounts. According to Verizon,
subscribers have accessed 15 million
Facebook photos since the
feature debuted in July 2009.

The Media Manager service is
available for no additional charge
to all FiOS TV HD customers. Previously,
it was available only to
HD DVR customers.