Verizon Communications' claims that FiOS TV now offers nearly twice the on-demand offerings as Comcast are "absolutely untrue," Comcast senior director of corporate communications Alana Davis said.
In an announcement Thursday, Verizon said it had increased the size of its video-on-demand service to more than 18,000 titles per month. "That's nearly twice the VOD offering from the country's largest cable provider," the company claimed.
However, according to Davis, the majority of Comcast markets offer at least 17,000 VOD titles, and some -- including Philadelphia -- currently top 18,000.
Asked for clarification, Verizon director of media relations Heather Wilner said, "I'm surprised that Comcast wouldn't talk about these numbers in their PR and advertising. We make sure to let our customers know when we're adding more to their service."
That said, Wilner added, "we still beat Comcast nationally with 18,000 monthly VOD titles in every market, including more than 2,400 HD titles every month."
According to Davis, Comcast offers 2,600 high-definition VOD titles in certain markets, and also carries more than 1,000 episodes of TV shows from 200-plus series during any given month via its on-demand services.
Moreover, Davis said, nearly 650 of Verizon's HD on-demand titles are how-to videos "like how to boil water and clean a toilet."
Wilner countered that the "how-to" clips from Howcast are "incredibly popular among today's consumers... We're making it easy for our customers to get this content on demand right on their TV screens, and we're the only TV provider to do so."
In announcing its expand VOD lineup, Verizon said added new HD on-demand content in the last month from HBO, Cinemax, Starz Entertainment and The Movie Channel, along with an additional 140 hours of movies on-demand from Encore.
Among other new VOD content partners for FiOS TV: Mav TV and Sony, and FiOS TV VOD will soon include shows from BBC America, IFC, We TV, AMC, and Halogen, a new TV network that targets "socially conscious individuals."