Launched Sept. 22 in Keller, Texas, Verizon's FiOS service will carry Scripps cable channels HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, FINE LIVING, Great American Country (GAC) and Shop at Home. FiOS also will carry video-on-demand programming, and in early 2006, it will add high-definition nets HGTV-HD and Food Network-HD.
In addition, the agreement includes retransmission consent for the local ABC affiliate stations owned by E.W. Scripps Co.
"This solidifies our extensive programming lineup with the addition of the Scripps portfolio of popular lifestyle television networks," said Terry Denson, FiOS TV's vice president of programming and marketing.
With the added Scripps content, the FiOS service now offers more than 330 channels of programming, with more deals coming, according to Verizon. The telco has plans to extend the FiOS service beyond Keller - last month it applied to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas for a state franchise to offer the service in 21 communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Construction on the fiber network will continue through 2006, and if the franchises are awarded, FiOS could be available to 400,000 households in Dallas-Fort Worth by the end of that year.
Verizon also has plans to debut FiOS service in other states where it has nailed down local video franchises, including California, Florida, New York and Virginia.