Verizon Communications has launched an upgraded, more unified version of its FiOS Mobile App that, for the first time, provides out-of-home access to live TV feeds, starting with nine channels: BBC America, BBC World News, EPIX, NFL Network (tablet only), HGTV, DIY, Tennis Channel, Food Network and Travel Channel.
“We’ve tried to offer a little something for everyone in this initial offering from the do-it-yourselfer to the football super fan to the moviegoer, and this is just the beginning,” said Maitreyi Krishnaswamy, director of FiOS TV’s consumer video services, in a statement.
The app runs on Apple iPads and iPhones, as well as select Android smartphones and tablets, including the Amazon Kindle Fire lineup, the company said.
Verizon said the new app, usable by authenticated FiOS TV subscribers, also combines elements from existing apps and tacks on functionality from the FiOS Mobile Remote and Verizon Media Manager application.
Verizon’s browser-based FiOS TV Online service presently offers 69 live TV channels that are accessible by authenticated customers in the home or on the go, a spokesman confirmed.
FiOS customers in parts of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., also have in-home access via the mobile app to the local live feeds of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, UniMas and Univision.
The company said it’s working on adding more linear content and local channels to that mobile app lineup and expects to expand access to more FiOS markets later this year and into 2014.
Verizon noted that the on-demand piece of the FiOS Mobile App offers a library of more than 45,000 “Flex View” titles for purchase or rent, as well as 4,000 ad-supported “free” and subscription titles that can be accessed in or out of the home.
Other operators have begun to offer access to a subset of live TV channels via their own applications. Time Warner Cable, for example, has begun to offer up to 11 linear channels (depending on the market) on its TWCTV app for iOS and Android devices, as well as on Web browsers.
Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that MVPDs are trying to work out distribution rights that would give them the ability to sell subscription video packages outside their traditional franchise areas. Last week, the New York Post reported that Verizon has been accelerating discussions with major programmers about how to obtain out-of-market rights to full suites of channels.
At last week's Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, TWC president and COO Rob Marcus downplayed such a scenario, saying, “[A]t this point, we don’t really aspire to delivering an over-the-top service. So for the foreseeable future, we are going to be focused on delivering video to people in our footprint. And, to the extent we can expand that offering to include out of home access, we are going to work hard to do that.”