Verizon’s purchase on Tuesday of Intel’s OnCue television service foreshadows a day when a paying television subscriber will be able to watch any channel on any device, whenever and wherever they want. It’s been a long time coming.
Verizon Communications has bought the remains of Intel Media’s proposed over-the-top pay TV service, OnCue. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but estimates are that Verizon paid between $200 million and $500 million. The current operation has some 350 employees in Santa Clara, Calif., where Intel Media is based, led by former BBC executive Erik Huggers. The initial plan is to launch the new OTT pay TV service to consumers outside of the footprint of Verizon’s FiOS TV pay TV service, a fiber-optic home broadband service.
Verizon Communications is near an agreement to purchase Intel Corp.’s Internet-based pay-TV startup OnCue, according to people familiar with the discussions. The deal may be announced as soon as this week.
Intel Corp. is asking about $500 million for OnCue, the online pay TV service that the world’s largest chipmaker developed before dialing back its ambitions, according to people with knowledge of the process. Intel is seeking to secure a sale by year-end, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. One suitor, Verizon Communications, has begun talking with owners of broadcast and cable channels about terms for a streaming TV service, the people said.
Television services delivered via the Internet by companies like Intel and Sony could someday transform how Americans watch TV shows. But the services have to get off the ground first, and there are new doubts about whether that is going to happen. Intel’s goal of introducing its OnCue service by the end of the year has been scrapped, and Sony, like Intel, has yet to announce deals to carry any channels.