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Good News: Verizon Locks in Deal with Disney/ABC/ESPN; Bad News: Centro Users Precluded

Mon Jan 26, 2009 - 5:22 PM EST - By Annie Latham

Verizon Wireless and Disney/ABC Television Group/ESPN just announced what sounded like good news-- That a comprehensive portfolio of news, entertainment and sports video programming, including full-length episodes of shows from ABC Entertainment, ABC News and Disney Channel, as well as content from ESPN, will be made available to Verizon Wireless V CAST Video and Mobile Web customers. The last part is the bad news, because for some reason, the Palm Centro is not on Verizon's list of V CAST-enabled phones. Very strange since the BlackBerry Storm made the cut and is the only smartphone on that list.

Anyway, the agreement covers mobile distribution of on-demand, full-length episodes to V CAST Video, complementing existing short-form content currently available from ABC and ESPN. Full-length programs will include:

  • ABC Entertainment: "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost" and "Ugly Betty"
  • ABC News: "Nightline," "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," "World News with Charles Gibson" and "20/20"
  • Disney Channel: "Hannah Montana," "The Suite Life on Deck" and "Phineas and Ferb"

Full episodes of these programs will be available on demand on V CAST Video the day following their television premiere. Also, Verizon Wireless customers will now be able to access and view expanded programming from ESPN, including short news clips and other sports-related content.

Not sure if Verizon is purposefully discriminating against Palm Centro customers or if this is just an issue with Palm OS not being compatible with V CAST. But it appears that the data plan for the Centro is exorbitant (Unlimited Data Usage $44.99/month; Email and Web for Smartphone $29.99/month) compared to V CAST, which has a $15.00 VPak monthly subscription fee, which also includes access to Verizon Wireless' ESPN MVP, Get It Now® and Mobile Web services.

Follow-Up: I just had an online chat with one of Verizon's "Live Person" sales reps:

Ashley: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today? You: Quick question. Why can't you get VCAST with the Palm Centro? Ashley: I'd be happy to help you with that. Ashley: Unfortunately this phone is not V-Cast capable. This is just how the phone is made. Would you like help finding another phone? You: humm... I need to do more research. Thanks for your time.

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