After publicly announcing and failing to follow through with a big plan to launch a set-top box, Intel is selling the project to Verizon. The telecoms company will purchase assets of Intel Media, a division set up to develop "over the top" TV services. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but Intel was previously rumored to be seeking $500 million.
For the undisclosed sum, Verizon is getting a large amount of intellectual property related to Intel's project. Around 350 people have been developing the set-top box, and Verizon will offer jobs to all of them. They'll continue to be based in Santa Clara, where Intel has its headquarters. The deal is subject to the usual regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalized before April.
Internet TV will become part of FiOS
Intel's plans were largely scuppered by difficulty obtaining the content partnerships necessary for a set-top box. It's hoped that Verizon, which already offers more traditional TV services, will be able to make internet TV work. Verizon expects to integrate Intel's internet TV tech with its existing FiOS video services to "further differentiate FiOS from traditional cable TV offerings and to reduce ongoing deployment costs." FiOS is only available in certain regions, and there's the possibility of Verizon rolling out internet-based TV services outside of its current reach. It also expects the purchase to help bring cross-screen watching to LTE devices.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says that what Intel Media was developing was "truly innovative," but it's better off in Verizon's hands. He adds that the company will "further align" its focus and resources around a "broad computing product portfolio in segments ranging from the 'Internet of Things' to data centers."