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Verizon Touts NFL Games Online

For the second year, Verizon will offer NFL Network’s eight live Thursday and Saturday primetime games online for no additional cost to customers who subscribe to both its broadband and TV services.

New for Verizon subs this season: The NFL Network Game Extra will provide a “virtual control booth” to let viewers select one of four camera angles, or all four angles simultaneously in a split-screen. Verizon is the only Internet service provider to deliver NFL Network programming over broadband.

The NFL Network Game Extra service is available to customers who subscribe to either Verizon FiOS Internet or Verizon digital subscriber line service, as well as either FiOS TV or DirecTV through Verizon.

NFL Network’s eight regular-season primetime games begin Nov. 22, with the Thanksgiving matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons. Major cable operators, notably Comcast and Time Warner Cable, remain locked in disputes over carriage with NFL Network.

Verizon spokesman Cliff Lee declined to provide information on how many customers viewed NFL games on broadband last season. He noted that Verizon customers who subscribe to both a TV and broadband package can view the games from any high-speed Internet connection, even if it’s not over Verizon’s network. “You could go to your friend’s house and hook up his computer to his TV to watch the games,” Lee said.

Other features of Verizon’s NFL broadband broadcasts include live chats with other viewers; game statistics; on-demand video highlights; and drive-chart simulations during the games.

Verizon carries NFL Network as part of its standard FiOS TV Premier package on channel 72 in the standard-definition format and 828 in high-definition. The channel also is available through DirecTV from Verizon on channel 212 in both SD and HD.

Verizon FiOS TV had 717,000 subscribers as of Sept. 30. Including the telco’s customers that subscribe to DirecTV, Verizon has about 1.5 million TV households.