The NYC market already has three 24/7 local news channels, Time Warner Cable’s NY1 and the recently launched NY Nonstop on a WNBC-TV digital channel, plus Cablevision’s News 12 on Long Island. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon’s FiOS is preparing to launch its own full-time local news channel in the market.
Verizon’s fiber-to-the-home cable competitor already operates FiOS 1 as a local news and content channel in the Washington, DC market – and the company had indicated that it planned to make similar launches in other markets. John Harrobin, VP of Digital Media at Verizon, told the WSJ that the local channel available in DC’s Maryland and Virginia suburbs ranks in the top 20% of the 350 channels it offers.
FiOS also has 24/7 local news competition in the DC market, where Allbritton Communications operates News Channel 8 on local cable systems out of studio facilities shared by WJLA-TV (ABC).
Online bloggers have given FiOS 1 generally favorable reviews. In addition to round-the-clock news updates, weather and traffic, the channel also features local sports play-by-play.
No word yet on any hiring for the NYC channel, but look for it to launch this summer.
RBR/TVBR observation: At our RBR/TVBR Bradenton, FL location, we have to acknowledge that access to Bright House Networks’ 24/7 local news channel, Bay News 9, is one reason we have stuck with cable over FiOS.