Verizon only recently inherited Intel's failed internet TV project, but the company isn't wasting time in pushing its over-the-top ambitions forward. Speaking at a conference yesterday, CEO Lowell McAdam said Verizon "would love to partner with content companies" on an online TV service. "We are going to work with them and find a model," he said. In fact, some of those talks have already begun. "I have personally had discussions with the CEOs of the large content companies," McAdam revealed, though he didn't specify how far along discussions might be. Finding content partners ultimately proved too difficult for Intel when it was developing the OnCue service, which led to the Verizon sale.
Can Verizon succeed where Intel failed?
Content companies have largely resisted the idea of an internet-based TV service in favor of the tried and true cable industry deals that have proven lucrative for decades. But McAdam said that those same companies are suddenly realizing "that the pie now grows if they go over the top." And recent developments show he may be right: a new deal between Dish and Disney/ABC includes terms allowing the satellite provider to stream content via an over-the-top multichannel TV service. "I think you can actually get a virtuous cycle where broadcast viewing goes up and over-the-top viewing goes up, if you time this properly," McAdam said.
Verizon will likely use Intel's internet TV tech to augment the reach of its own FiOS TV services. Verizon could offer web-based TV access in areas where FiOS isn't available and give companies like Comcast new (and unconventional) competition. The company has previously said it will utilize OnCue to "further differentiate FiOS from traditional cable TV offerings and to reduce ongoing deployment costs." Obviously none of that will come together without content that viewers want to see. Thankfully it seems McAdam is determined to pick up where Intel fell short and get those deals done.