As anticipated, Verizon launched a pair of news channels in northern New Jersey and on Long Island exclusively for its FiOS subscribers that will deliver local news, weather and traffic reports.
On Long Island, Verizon’s new offering--FiOS 1--will face stiff competition from Cablevision, which has offered 24-hour news coverage since 1986 and now has a dozen news, weather and traffic channels. Cablevision has 3.1 million subscribers in the metro area, compared to Verizon’s 2.2 million FiOS customers in 14 states.
Cablevision downplayed the impact Verizon’s news channels would have, saying: “We don't believe a phone company news channel will be in any way comparable to the authoritative information available from News 12 and News 12 Traffic & Weather."
Meanwhile, critics already are saying the news channel isn't any different than other news programs in the metro area, despite Verizon's pitch that it would be hyperlocal and "a little more fresh and a little more accurate than our competitors." Monday's debut featured a host of stories that had been reported on in other media on Sunday.