Verizon Communications intends to launch an Internet-fed video service spawned by its acquisition of Intel Media’s OnCue assets by mid-2015, company CEO Lowell McAdam said Thursday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York, according to multiple reports.
The coming service, a seeming departure from the traditional pay-TV service delivered via Verizon’s FiOS TV platform, will enter the picture as others pursue similar over-the-top TV strategies, including Dish Network’s single-stream multiscreen offering that’s expected to launch later this year, and the service that Sony is developing as it carves out distribution deals with Viacom and other programming partners.
And apparently Verizon’s discussions with programmers about securing digital rights for a broadband-based subscription TV service have been improving.
"It's moved from a stiff-arm to more of an embrace," he said, according to Reuters, noting that dialogue with broadcast TV networks and other content providers has been “changing dramatically” over the past six months to a year.
Verizon hasn’t announced how it will price and package the service, but expects it to include access to major broadcast channels (“the big four for sure”), and a lineup of “custom channels,” Deadline.com reported.
In June, questions swirled about how Verizon would utilize OnCue assets, with some sources claiming that the near-term plan was not to create an out-of-footprint, virtual MVPD service, but to instead use them to develop a next-gen platform that would help FiOS TV transition more of its offerings to IP and catch up to where Comcast is heading with its X1 platform. Now it seems that Verizon has been able to start locking up the kind of digital distribution rights it will need to create smaller, more personalized subscription bundles.
Verizon, which also operates a cloud-based video delivery system via the Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) unit, is also developing a live video service that will be delivered on its mobile network using bandwidth-friendly LTE multicast technology. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said in July that Verizon Wireless plans to “go commercial” with such an offering as early as 2015.
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