Verizon’s FiOS TV service has quietly been adding a number
of new features for its users of late, including FaceBook support (which,
honestly, is fair at best) and free VOD from forthcoming pay network Epix. Now
it’s elbowing further into Comcast’s territory.Tv-everywhere

The phone-company-turned-television-provider has unveiled a
trial run of FiOS TV Online, letting customers view select programming from any
broadband connection. For now, only TBS and TNT are included, though other providers
will be added soon. (FiOS customers can sign up here.) There is no charge for
the service.

Users simply need to log in using their Verizon Online user
names and passwords and (assuming they’re FiOS customers) they’ll be able to
watch programming on demand.

It’s part of Time Warner’s TV Everywhere initiative, one
that Comcast has been touting loudly in recent months. Comcast, though, hasn’t
yet opened its trial program. And when it does in the coming months, only 5,000
select customers will be invited. (No word on whether Comcast plans to offer a
larger selection of programming or just Time Warner channels. Also unknown is
whether the service will cost an additional fee.)

"As an industry, it's critical that we get the TV
Everywhere user experience and value proposition right," said Shawn
Strickland, vice president of FiOS product management for Verizon in a
statement.

FiOS has gotten rave reviews from the people who have it,
but the service is very limited, versus Comcast’s wide audience base. But if
Verizon can expand its distribution of the service, it could ultimately become
a real threat to Comcast and other cable companies. And freebies like this
certainly help to convert the company’s existing customer base into evangelists
for the service. 

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