Verizon Wireless will shut down its VCast Video subscription service on December 15, the largest U.S. carrier announced today. It will send subscribers instead to its Viewdini video portal for 4G devices offering access to services including Hulu+, Netflix and Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand.
The step comes as Verizon faces increased competition from free video providers on mobile devices like YouTube in addition to the mobile extensions of video services people are already paying for like Netflix and Xfinity. In short, VCast became superfluous.
The move also follows Verizon's announcement last month to close its branded app store in January 2013.
Launched in 2005, VCast offered more than 100 live channels and more than 250 show episode and events each month from partners including A+E Networks, CBS, Fox, MTV and NBC. Verizon charged $3 a day or $10 a month for the service with unlimited usage.
Verizon said it will continue to offer its NFL Mobile service, which provides access to Sunday, Monday and Thursday night games for $5 a month. Verizon in 2010 struck a four-year, $720 million deal with the league for exclusive NFL wireless rights starting.
The Viewdini portal was launched in May with the goal of aim of enhancing demand for its 4G network. AllThingsD first reported on Verizon’s plans to discontinue VCast earlier today.