HD’s Newest Connection: Verizon’s Terry Denson

Mar 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The player: Terry Denson, VP of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon
The play: Mr. Denson has led the Verizon FiOS fiber-optic television service’s growth from its September 2005 inception to its current subscriber base of more than 1 million customers. About 10% of FiOS’ 400 linear channels are in HD. Mr. Denson expects the service to have more than 100 linear channels and more than 1,000 on-demand titles in HD by the end of the year.
The pitch: While satellite companies pitch HD linear channels and cable companies tout video-on-demand options, Mr. Denson says fiber-optic HD provides the best picture quality. “Any compression we might do is far less than what’s happening in the cable and satellite world,” he said. “We offer HD in a purer form than our competitors.”
The challenge: FiOS competes against cable and satellite leaders Comcast and DirecTV, whose combined subscription base is more than 40 million customers. DirecTV touts its almost 100 linear HD channels, while Comcast this year said it would have more than 1,000 monthly on-demand choices by the end of the year. Still, telecommunications companies’ share of the U.S. television market will grow from negligible last year to 11% in 2017, research firm SNL Kagan estimates.
Backstory: Mr. Denson, 42, joined Verizon in 2004 after serving as VP of programming at Insight Communications. He previously worked in business development at both MTV and ABC. “It was a natural progression. For a long time distribution was just about analog cable, but it started getting interesting with interactive video-on-demand,” Mr. Denson said. He grew up in Webster, N.Y., near Rochester, and earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Georgetown. He’s based in New York City.


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