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Verizon Tops 200K TV Subs

Verizon Communications Monday reported 207,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of 2006, up 75% from the end of the prior quarter.

As of Dec. 31, FiOS TV was available to 2.4 million homes, and Verizon said almost one-half of the availability in the fourth quarter occurred in the last two weeks of the year. The 207,000 subscribers represent a 9% penetration rate.

By year-end 2006, Verizon had secured about 600 cable-TV franchises covering more than 7 million households. FiOS TV is offered in more than 200 cities in parts of 10 states.

Verizon's FiOS fiber-to-the-home network passed more than 6 million premises by the end of the year. The company expects to pass 18 million homes by the end of 2010.

FiOS Internet service was available to 4.8 million homes as of the end of the year. The broadband service had a penetration rate of more than 14% for the year, meaning Verizon had at least 670,000 FiOS Internet customers. By contrast, FiOS Internet had a 7% penetration at year-end 2005.

Verizon said earnings dilution from the FiOS deployment was 10 cents per share in the fourth quarter and 32 cents per share for the year. The company expects dilution from FiOS to be about 11 cents per share in the first quarter of 2007, declining in each successive quarter in 2007.