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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 28, 2009

Verizon Q4 Results Fueled by FiOS Internet and TV Growth

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

Despite a flailing economy and difficult market conditions, telecom giant Verizon (News - Alert) says it added 303,000 new FiOS TV subscribers during the fourth quarter to end 2008 with an impressive upswing.
The record numbers for new subscribers during a single quarter pushed FiOS (News - Alert) TV customers to 1.9 million, signaling that the nation’s appetite for video and broadband hasn’t diminished.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in a statement that 2008 was marked by significant customer growth for the company, as product innovation based on strategic technology and broadband infrastructure investments began to produce results.
"Verizon has shown that it is able to compete effectively in this economic environment," said Seidenberg. "We grew profits and maintained strong cash flows throughout 2008. In the fourth quarter, we continued to produce top-line growth, fueled by strong sales volumes for broadband, wireless and strategic business services.”

FiOS TV competes primarily with cable and satellite TV providers and has proved to be a core grower in the Verizon family with nearly 1 million new customers signing on in 2008 alone, the company said in its quarterly earnings report. During the fourth-quarter in 2007, FiOS TV added 226,000 customers.
The overall sales penetration for FiOS TV increased to 20.8 percent, compared with 16.0 percent in the fourth quarter 2007. FiOS TV service was available for sale to 9.2 million premises by year-end 2008. The company said that represented a 57 percent increase in the availability of FiOS TV since year-end 2007. 
The company’s overall broadband base jumped to nearly 2.5 million, ramping up broadband and video revenue to $1.2 billion during the fourth quarter. That is an increase of 42 percent from the year-earlier period.
TMC (News - Alert) President and Group Editor-in-Chief Rich Tehrani noted in his blog that FiOS subscriptions were up because in an economy that is seeing belt-tightening across the board, consumers are staying home and watching more TV.
However, all wasn’t bright for the nation’s second-largest telecommunications company, as Verizon reported revenue from its corporate business fell in the fourth quarter due to companies delaying purchases.

In addition, Verizon Wireless services subscriptions slowed over the same period the previous year.
The company reported sales of $24.6 billion in the fourth quarter which fell short of the $25 billion forecast by Wall Street.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray