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Thanks to some generous support of their pal, FCC Commish Kevin Martin, and others at the state level, the big bets made by AT&T and Verizon on video — in the form of U-verse and FiOS, respectively — are slowly beginning to pay off. Last week, AT&T reported that it added 148,000 new U-verse subscribers in the first quarter, taking its total to 379,000. Ma Bell hopes to have a million subscribers for its U-verse service by end of 2008.
Today Verizon says it added 263,000 new FiOS subscribers in the first quarter of 2008 for a total of 1.2 million FiOS TV customers. Funnily enough, their presence is causing all sorts of problems for traditional TV providers, the cable and satellite guys. This is resulting in negative advertising campaigns, that while full of hyperbole, are amusing nevertheless.