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Verizon To Offer Starz Movies Over IP

Verizon Communications announced an agreement with Starz Entertainment Group to provide movies over Verizon's Fios TV fiber optical channel. Fios is Verizon's fiber-optic broadband Internet service.

The measure brings Verizon closer to head-to-head competition with cable networks as the latter continue to aggressively offer telephone service.

"Verizon Fios TV will offer customers a competitive alternative to cable or satellite," Verizon stated in a press release Friday. "In addition to video on demand, Fios TV will deliver hundreds of digital video channels, high-definition programming, music channels, an interactive programming guide, and other customer-friendly features." Fios TV's fiber-to-the-premises service is scheduled to begin later this year.

The announcement builds on an earlier deal Verizon made with Discovery Communications for the distribution of Discovery's 14 U.S.-based networks. While the agreement with Starz is Verizon's first with a premium pay-TV provider, the telephone company said it is negotiating with other premium networks.

Verizon is offering three tiers of its Fios Internet service. The 5 Mbps downstream service is $39.95 a month, 15 Mbps, $49.95; and 30 Mbps, $199.95. Prices are slightly lower when services are purchased in a bundle.

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