Verizon kick starts Memorial Day weekend with VOD marathon
Verizon has booted up its “On Demand Marathon,” which is offering its 4.9 million FiOS subscribers free access to 1,700 movies and more than 50 full seasons of TV series.
The VOD marathon, which started today and runs through Tuesday, is the single largest free on demand event that Verizon has hosted, according to Bill Kula, Verizon’s director of media relations.
The VOD marathon enables some major binge viewing by Verizon subscribers by allowing them to watch end-to-end series such as NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “The Voice,” and “Grimm.” Other networks on tap for the marathon include Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY, and HBO.
On the movies front, children can tune into choices such as HBO On Demand’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift or “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” among others. Selected episodes of “The Game of Thrones,” “Boss,” and “Spartacus” from HBO and Starz are also available starting Friday.
In order to access the free content, subscribers can go to the FiOS TV Video on demand menu and select the “Free Marathon” folder, Kula wrote in a blog post .
Kula said that Verizon would be sharing viewership information from the marathon sometime next week. Verizon is banking on the business strategy that the more its subscribers watch and use free VOD offerings the more likely they’ll order paid VOD content.
In March, Comcast’s “Xfinity Watchathon Week” set new records  for VOD views and hours watched across set-top boxes and IP-connected devices. In its first quarter earnings call earlier this month, Comcast executives indicated there would be a repeat performance of its Watchathon.