Comcast Says FiOS HD Is "Mundane," Verizon Says They Kick Comcast "In The Teeth"

The war between Verizon FiOS and Comcast is heating up as Verizon moves into Comcast’s home territory of Philadelphia. The main point of contention? Verizon claims to have more HD than Comcast, but Comcast says Verizon’s HD programming sucks and shouldn’t count. Yes, really.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Comcast is upset that more than 250 of Verizon’s HD “choices” are “mundane” and to count them is “misleading and irrelevant to consumers.”

More than 250 of Verizon’s high-definition programming channels or other choices – out of a total of 1,057 – aren’t real entertainment but program fillers on blow-drying hair, kissing, grilling a hamburger, folding a pillowcase, chopping garlic, and other mundane topics, Comcast says.

Verizon countered that “how to” programming is popular with their customers, claiming that Comcast is desperate because they offer 104 HD channels and Comcast only offers 37.

Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell said yesterday that the how-to programs were popular with customers and “this has the whiff of desperation about it. Verizon solidly beats Comcast in the number of HD channels.”

The Philadelphia cable giant’s jabs come as Verizon is seeking a 15-year agreement to offer its FiOS pay-TV services in Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter’s administration disclosed the proposed Verizon agreement Nov. 13.

About a week later, Nov. 19, Verizon said in a news release that it would expand HD channels and choices to offer Philadelphia-area customers “far more HD content than Comcast.”

Comcast says not true and has released comparative data on HD programming.

The data state that Comcast offers 1,304 HD choices overall and Verizon 1,057. In HD categories, Comcast says it has 224 HD movies, compared with 112 for Verizon; 423 HD music clips, compared with 197 for Verizon; 288 HD television shows, compared with 144 for Verizon, and so on.

Then there is the category listed as “HD Empty How To Choices.” Comcast said it had zero and Verizon 268.

Not listed in the data are HD channels, in which Verizon is a clear leader. It has 104 to Comcast’s 37. “We kick them in the teeth,” Mitchell said.

Comcast snorts that 20 of the Verizon HD channels are so marginal that they’re not rated by Nielsen.

Know what? Neither of them have NFL Sunday Ticket. Just Sayin’.

Comcast attacks Verizon’s HD claims [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.