* In talks with content providers for tablet TV service
* Sees service launch in 2011
* Plans video on demand for mobile phones by year end
(Adds Verizon comment, byline; updates share price)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Aug 18 Verizon Communications (VZ.N)
has developed an application that will allow customers to watch
live TV shows and movies on Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad, part of
an effort to take its FiOS TV service beyond the living room.
Verizon is banking on the new software application, which
it demonstrated on Wednesday, as a way to lure away TV
customers from cable rivals such as Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and
Time Warner Cable TWC.N.
But Verizon now has to convince content providers like Time
Warner Inc (TWX.N) or Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) to give it
permission to extend live TV viewing to devices such as tablet
computers and home appliances.
"Technically we're done," said Chief Information Officer
Shaygan Kheradpir said. "So now we're in discussions with our
The app -- dubbed "What's Hot" -- allows a user to pick the
program they want to view in full screen on the iPad from a
display of live shows that are popular with local audiences.
Viewers could potentially sort options by genres such as sports
Hoping for a commercial launch next year, Verizon is
gambling on getting media conglomerates on board at a time when
programmers are trying to figure out the best way to distribute
movies and TV shows.
But while companies like CBS Corp (CBS.N), Viacom Inc
VIAb.N and News Corp (NWSA.O) are still grappling with the
best way to do this, one thing is certain: they are adamant
about getting paid for their content.
They already have a number of efforts in place to protect
their content, including "TV Everywhere." The early stage
initiative allows viewers to watch their favorite TV shows
on-demand via the Web, but only if they are pay TV
In another push, Web video service Hulu, whose owners
include NBC Universal, News Corp and Disney, recently
introduced a subscription service to offer shows such as "Glee"
to devices including TVs, computers and mobile gadgets
A spokesman for HBO -- a division of Time Warner and home
to hit shows like "True Blood" -- said the cable network was in
talks with Verizon FiOS "on everything." He said HBO would be
open to mobile streaming if it was sure that Verizon could
limit it to HBO subscribers.
Verizon consumer strategy planner Shawn Strickland said
Verizon would not pay content providers extra for its
customers' use of the FiOS tablet app when they are at home.
But that may change when they view the service on the go.
"When you take it outside the home there are conversations
we're having about how this will work," Strickland said.
Kheradpir said Verizon started out with an iPad app as it
was the first suitable tablet available, but he promised to
support a wide range of devices including existing appliances
and tablets running Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android software.
Verizon also promised to offer video-on-demand services
that would work on a variety of cellphones by the end of this
year, including phones sold rivals to Verizon Wireless, its
mobile venture with Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L).
For example, if Apple approves the app, Verizon said the
service would work on the iPhone, which is currently sold only
by rival AT&T Inc (T.N). Verizon expects to submit the iPhone
app for approval in the fourth quarter.
Verizon had 3.8 million customers for its FiOS Internet and
3.2 million for FiOS TV at the end of the second quarter. The
FiOS network has been launched in markets with about 18 million
Verizon shares edged down 0.06 percent to close at $30.15
on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Additional reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and Richard Chang)