Verizon FiOS confirmed that it is shutting down its authenticated live TV apps for Xbox consoles and Samsung smart TVs because few customers were using them and because the apps only supported a subset of the channels offered on the FiOS TV service.
As reported by Ars Technica, Verizon has been telling customers recently that the telco will be shutting down those apps on March 31, but that it will continue to support the FiOS Mobile TVE app on smartphones and tablets, which deliver a mix of live TV programs and VOD to authenticated FiOS TV customers.
“[D]ue to the limited number of FiOS customers who were using the FiOS App on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and because of the limited number of channels available to those users, we decided to retire the app,” a Verizon spokesman said in a statement. “FiOS customers still interested in using the app can do so through the FiOS Mobile App on the iOS and Android platforms."
“Going forward,” the official added, “we will continue to look for new ways to give our customers access to our Fios content and that provide a good user experience.”
Verizon's not alone in pulling support from the Xbox platform. Deadspin reported last week that ESPN was dropping app support on the Xbox 360 on March 23 while retaining its app for the Xbox One. As another example, Comcast pulled its Xfinity TV On Demand app for the Xbox 360 last fall. AT&T U-verse halted its support for the Xbox 360 at the end of 2013, citing "low consumer demand."
Notably, Verizon is shutting down its apps on those gaming consoles and smart TVs as the FCC continues to push ahead with new set-top rules that will succeed the CableCARD and apply to all types of MVPDs. On Monday, the Consumer Video Choice Coalition, which includes Google among its backers, teamed with other groups to launch a new website, unlockthebox.com to push their cause.