Verizon: DBS-Like Rates for FiOS

Verizon Communications Inc. plans to charge subscribers to its upcoming FiOS TV service monthly rates that are on par with the fees that DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. charge customers, Newsday reported Tuesday.

“There’s no reason for us to engage in a price war,” Verizon FiOS TV vice president of programming and marketing Terry Denson told the newspaper, which noted that the average rates for satellite TV range from $46-$49 monthly.

Multichannel News first reported May 2 that Verizon was considering charging $50-$55 monthly for a programming package that would not only include digital-cable channels, but premium networks from Showtime Networks Inc. and Starz Entertainment Group LLC, as well.

Denson also mocked Comcast Corp.’s programming-packaging strategy without actually naming the MSO.

“No silver package, no gold package, no titanium package, no platinum package -- each of which confuses the cable customer,” he said.

Newsday said Verizon may offer 130 channels in the New York area, including local broadcast signals. The telco will also offer an optional sports package, but it won’t likely offer local cable news networks such as Time Warner Cable’s New York 1 News, the newspaper said.