Verizon Inks Deals With ABC, NHL


Verizon’s FiOS TV will bring primetime ABC fare to video-on-demand a day after it airs and deliver hockey action via NHL Network and the league’s out-of-market hockey package, under separate deals announced Tuesday.

FiOS TV customers will be able to watch high-definition episodes of ABC series like Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and Ugly Betty one day after their broadcast premieres for no additional charge.

Under the terms of the deal with Disney-ABC Television Group, Verizon will disable the fast-forward option so the ads cannot be skipped. The ABC content will expand FiOS TV’s VOD library, which offers more than 11,000 titles per month, 70% percent of which are free. 

Separately, Verizon announced a deal with the National Hockey League to offer NHL Center Ice to FiOS TV customers and said it will launch the NHL Network “in the coming days.”

The NHL Center Ice subscription package, $169 for the season, includes up to 40 out-of-market NHL games per week and select games from the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Verizon will broadcast select NHL Center Ice games in HD.  The 24-hour NHL Network will broadcast 75 live regular-season games in 2008-09, all in HD.