Broadband Briefs for 06/09/2009
• Verizon expands services in N.Y., Mass., Md.
By Traci Patterson
Verizon has introduced its FiOS TV service to consumers and small businesses in Marblehead, Mass. Marblehead is among 96 Massachusetts communities where the company's TV service is, or soon will be, offered. Verizon recently added more than 90 new channels, including 71 high-definition channels, to its FiOS TV lineup in Massachusetts. FiOS TV now offers more than 500 total channels – including more than 100 HD channels – which is more than any local cable operator, including Comcast, according to Verizon.
And residents of the village of Sea Cliff and the town of Cornwall in New York will soon have access to Verizon’s FiOS TV service, thanks to newly approved agreements authorizing the telco to offer its video service in the areas. The approvals make 152 the total number of New York municipalities that have authorized Verizon to provide FiOS TV service.
Lastly, Verizon has expanded its fastest high-speed Internet service, which delivers Internet download speeds of up to 7.1 Mbps, to nearly 90,000 additional households in parts of five Maryland cities: Baltimore (including Hamilton and along York Road), Bel Air, Cumberland, Rockville and Sykesville.
• WealthTV signs on with Rentrak
By Mike Robuck
Rentrak, a multi-screen media measurement and research company, has inked an agreement with WealthTV. The deal covers linear, or schedule-based, television measurement and will give WealthTV an independent measurement of its program performance.
"Utilizing Rentrak’s TV Essentials service, WealthTV will be able to further understand the value and appeal of our programming to both consumers and advertisers," said Eric Brown, executive vice president for WealthTV. "The ability to demonstrate and enhance viewer engagement will further solidify WealthTV as the destination for exclusive and aspirational original programming."
Rentrak’s TV Essentials service provides WealthTV with the ability to fine-tune programming, report on advertiser delivery, evaluate marketing strategies, as well as better position the networks’ ad sales and distribution. WealthTV will be able to access viewing data from millions of set-top boxes across 37 markets by using Rentrak, as well as second-by-second viewing patterns for networks and individual telecasts.
• Former AT&T CEO to become new GM chairman
By The Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors Corp. says the former chairman and CEO of AT&T will become the chairman of the reorganized automaker later this summer.
Edward Whitacre Jr., 67, will replace Kent Kresa, but Kresa will remain GM's interim chairman until the automaker emerges from bankruptcy protection as a new entity, majority-owned by the U.S. government.
GM is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to reorganize and shed unwanted assets.