Cable and phone giants are using community news, traffic alerts and weather to lure customers, accurding to the Wall Street Journal.
In the marketing war between telephone and cable companies, both sides have found a surprisingly simple weapon: local TV offerings such as community news, traffic alerts and weather updates, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
The story, written by Vishesh Kumar and Amol Sharma, said that this summer, Verizon Communications plans to launch its own local TV channel in New York City. The move comes in response to Cablevision Systems Corp. and Time Warner Cable, which have round the clock news channels that have helped the companies keep some customers in Long Island and New York City from switching to Verizon.
A version of the local Verizon channel is already available in Maryland and Northern Virginia, the story says, and it ranks in the top 20% by viewers of the 350 channels the company offers and in spite of Verizon’s ample menu of high definition programming.
Verizon’s FiOS1 channel features traffic on the 1s and weather on the 5s. It also has items such as Push-Pause, an original production including community news shot by citizen journalists, the story says.
Verizon is considering rolling out the channel in other markets as well, but hasn’t yet produced a professional newscast or hired local reporters at Time Warner and Cablevision have done.
Time Warner Cable will roll out a 24-hour channel in Buffalo, NY, the story says.
WSJ Online subscribers may read the full story here.