Verizon Expands Free HDTV Offer for FiOS

Verizon is expanding its offer of a free Sharp Aquos 19-inch LCD HDTV to new FiOS triple-play subscribers in at least five more states, after kicking off the signup incentive program last month in the New York metro area.

The telco began promoting the offer Oct. 15 in its New York, New Jersey and southern Connecticut markets. Verizon director of media relations Jim Smith said based on early results there, the company decided to launch the promotion starting this week in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia and parts of the Midwest including Fort Wayne, Ind.

“This is the time of year to draw people into this kind of offer,” Smith said. “There are holiday specials on television, and football’s on TV.”

Smith said the early results from the promotion are “phenomenal,” but he would not provide information on how many subscribers were taking Verizon up on the offer.

The free-HDTV offer is set to run through Dec. 15, although Smith noted that Verizon may extend it through the end of December. The deal is available to subscribers who take FiOS TV, FiOS Internet and phone and commit to a two-year contract; at least one element of the bundle must be a new service. Subscribers can also opt for a $200 Best Buy gift certificate instead of the Sharp HDTV set.

In the New York region, customers can also qualify for the free set if they subscribe to DirecTV from Verizon rather than FiOS TV with a one-year commitment, or digital subscriber line service instead of FiOS Internet (also for a one-year contract).

Verizon has a separate giveaway for new double-play subscribers: an RCA Small Wonder EZ201 handheld mini-camcorder, which the telco says has a retail value of $129. Customers must subscribe to phone service plus either TV or Internet service to receive the mini-camcorder. In areas where FiOS is not available, Smith said, the RCA Small Wonder will be the offer the telco will use to stimulate subscriber growth.

Information on the offers is available online at