Verizon to offer new Starz online video service

NEW YORK Tue May 27, 2008 5:36pm BST

The sign for the Verizon Wireless store is seen in Lakewood, Colorado September 11, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The sign for the Verizon Wireless store is seen in Lakewood, Colorado September 11, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc is offering a broadband video subscription service from Starz Entertainment to expand its video offering on the Internet, the companies said on Tuesday.

The new Starz Play service, offered at $5.99 per month, or $4 less than what Starz charges for its similar Vongo service, is available to Verizon's 8.5 million high speed Internet service customers as well as potential customers outside of its regions.

Internet movie services such as those offered by Vongo, Netflix and Amazon.com have yet to be big hits with consumers as most continue to rely on watching long-form movies in front of televisions.

Starz has aimed to court younger consumers and travelers, who spend more time in front of laptops and digital entertainment devices like Apple's iPod. Starz Play movies downloaded from the service will not be viewable on the iPod.

The Verizon service is Starz's first wholesale agreement, which the company sees as the future of its Internet subscription movies business.

Starz does not disclose how many customers it currently serves. The company will continue to offer Vongo, which also lets consumers pay to rent newer releases as well as an archive of more than 1,000 movies, on an unlimited basis for $9.99 per month.

Starz is a division of Liberty Media's Liberty Entertainment Group.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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