Verizon CFO says not pursuing Web video for now

NEW YORK Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:20pm EDT

An Apple iPad is pictured showing live television channels through a software application for Verizon FiOS TV customers during a demonstration in New York, August 18, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

An Apple iPad is pictured showing live television channels through a software application for Verizon FiOS TV customers during a demonstration in New York, August 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications has considered developing an Internet video service that would work outside of its network region but is not pursuing it right now, according to the company's chief financial officer.

Instead Verizon is putting all its attention on increasing the number of customers that subscribe to its FiOS TV service in order to help pay for the $23 billion it spent building a fiber network for FiOS, Fran Shammo said on Thursday.

"Our concentration is to expand our penetration for FiOS right now," Shammo told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The success of DVD rental company Netflix Inc's instant view Web video service has generated a lot of industry questions about what pay-TV providers can do to compete and retain customers as such so-called "over-the-top" services do not require a cable subscription.

"It's something that we've looked at. It's not something that's top of mind for us," Shammo said.

He said that it would be hard to create a successful "over-the-top" business model without offering something that's very different to what consumers can already get.

Instead Shammo said his company is focused on negotiating with content providers to expand Verizon's agreement beyond the living room TV to mobile devices like phones and tablets.

"That's the bigger issue on our minds, to put our content on mobile devices," he said.

Earlier in the day Verizon said it ended the second quarter with 4.3 million FiOS Internet customers and 3.7 million FiOS TV customers in its quarterly report.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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