MTV Networks' Urge suite of music channels will no longer be available on Verizon's FiOS TV, although the service will live on for AT&T's U-verse TV customers.
Verizon alerted FiOS TV subscribers late this week to the change in messages indicating the channels would be removed over the next five days, "due to the provider's decision to discontinue the service." The Urge channels provide a continuous loop of music grouped by genre, such as "I Love the '80s," "Classic Country" and "Smooth Jazz."
"Verizon FiOS TV's authorization to distribute Urge Radio expired with our recent renewal, and MTVN elected not to renew FiOS TV's distribution of Urge Radio under our new carriage agreement," MTVN said in a statement.
MTVN created the Urge channels to mount a challenge to Music Choice, the digital music joint venture owned by Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Microsoft, Motorola, Sony Corp. of America and EMI Music. Music Choice filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against MTVN over Urge in 2008.
AT&T, for its part, dropped the Music Choice channels in November 2007 in favor of Urge. An MTVN spokesman said the telco will continue to offer the collection of 48 channels.
Verizon currently carries Music Choice, and also provides an Internet radio service with live audio streams from more than 800 stations nationwide via a partnership with Clear Channel's iHeartRadio.com.
MTVN had a separate online-music subscription service called Urge created with Microsoft in 2005. In August 2007, MTVN shut down that service and merged it with RealNetworks' Rhapsody.
Earlier this year MTVN and RealNetworks said they would spin off the Rhapsody America joint venture as an independent company.
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