Verizon retires FiOS TV app on consoles, smart TVs

While cable companies and content providers are scrambling to remain competitive in an age of video and music streaming, Verizon seems to be moving away just a little bit. Although still without official confirmation on its website, users of its FiOS TV service have reported receiving notices that Verizon is killing off FiOS TV's presence on consoles as well as smart TVs. While that does still leave ubiquitous mobile devices on the unscathed, it is a move that is bound to be unpopular with many of Verizon's faithful.

The bundled fiber optic Internet and TV service is already facing challenges. Last year, it received criticism from the New York City government for under-delivering on its promise to the citizens. The FCC's recent move to "overhaul" the set-top box is also bound to cause Verizon some trouble.

But it is perhaps for those very reasons that Verizon is girding its loins and focusing its resources on supporting more widely used devices. According to a company spokesperson. the number of FiOS TV subscribers using the app on their Xbox or Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-rays are quite small. Besides, the selection of channels available on those devices are also limited in the first place. Sounds like a chicken and egg problem.

Some FiOS customers will surely contest that claim. Many do use their gaming consoles as an all-in-one entertainment device, for both gaming and watching videos. But without Verizon releasing actual stats, it's hard to argue the ratio of those users versus those that directly Verizon's provided set-top box.

And in the end, that's probably the direction Verizon wants to steer its customers towards. While the mobile apps, available for iOS and Android, will remain intact, and even got a new feature last December, those who still want to watch FiOS TV channels on their big screens will have to make do with Verizon's own box. And if they have more than one such screen, they'll have to get another one. And it's the exact situation that the FCC is trying to fight against, unsurprisingly with mounting opposition from cable companies.

VIA: Ars Technica