Verizon ( VZ) signed a video deal with CBS ( CBS), adding national and local programming to its fiber-optic TV package. The New York phone giant says it has an agreement to carry CBS network TV and programming from local stations along with video-on-demand capability for users who want to view specific shows by request. No terms were disclosed but Verizon says it is the largest deal yet with a national network. Observers will likely see this agreement as a template for further arrangements between the phone companies and broadcasters and other video providers. To compete with cable companies, Verizon and AT&T ( T) have invested billions of dollars in fiber optic network expansion so the lines are big enough to carry the triple play of services -- phone, Internet and video. Verizon has agreements to provide video from outfits like Disney ( DIS), NBC Universal Cable, ABC, ESPN, the Discovery Network, the NFL and Sinclair Broadcasting. Verizon offers its Fios TV service in a handful of communities in seven states. To date, the telco titan has been seeking local video franchise approvals. But some observers say lobbying efforts and
key support in Washington may allow Verizon to forgo the local approvals with the passage of legislation for a national video franchise. Verizon shares rose 3 cents to $34.44 in midafternoon trading Monday.