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Intel may leave delayed web TV service in Verizon's hands, says new report

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Intel CES 2013 stock 2 1020
Intel CES 2013 stock 2 1020

Struggling to obtain essential content deals and facing no shortage of other obstacles, Intel is reportedly considering handing off its mythical web TV service to Verizon. That's according to All Things D, which claims that the two sides are "close to a deal to hand over control" of Intel Media, the division that's been working on the unreleased subscription-based web service. The report notes that it's unclear whether Intel would completely walk away from the project in such a scenario; a potential deal may leave the company with some say in the service's development.

Intel's web-based TV service has been long in the making; Intel Media general manager Erik Huggers confirmed its existence back in February. At the time, he described a set-top box with a "beautiful industrial design" that would deliver live programming, on-demand content, and a healthy ecosystem of applications. The goal was to have the product on the market by the end of 2013.

Content struggles and low funding have reportedly thrown Intel off course

But since then, numerous reports suggest that Intel has faced roadblock after roadblock in trying to execute on its vision of bringing "proper television" to the internet. Despite offering to pay programmers handsomely, the company has been largely unable to sign critical licensing deals for popular content. Adding to those troubles, it's also said to be running low on money to support the effort. All Things D previously reported that Intel has turned to both Amazon and Samsung for potential help in moving the project along.

As the purveyor of FiOS, Verizon is no stranger to television and web services. Presumably the company also enjoys a tighter relationship with cable networks and other content providers that would be a vital piece of any web TV product. Adding to its familiarity with web technology, Verizon operates Redbox Instant, the middling streaming service from a company that ordinarily specializes in kiosk rentals. So while the partnership would make sense from a business perspective, it's not yet a lock according to All Things D. But with the end of the year fast approaching, we should be hearing more on the project's fate soon.