Verizon Buys OnCue, Extends Pay TV Service

Verizon Communications has bought the remains of Intel Media 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.

Intel Media has abandoned its efforts to pursue Internet-delivered cloud-based TV services. Reports were that it struggled to sign up prospective TV networks and other content providers.

“Verizon already has extensive video content relationships, fixed and wireless delivery networks, and customer relationships in both the home and on mobile.” stated Lowell McAdam, chairman/CEO of Verizon. "The OnCue platform and team will help Verizon bring next-generation video services to audiences who increasingly expect to view content when, where and how they want it.”

Sony Corp. of America is continuing its effort to launch a similar OTT service. Top executives made the announcement earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Its service will be tested later this year.

Sony says it has some 70 million Internet-connected devices in U.S. homes and about 25 million PlayStation devices. This is comparable to the number of total U.S. TV homes that use pay TV providers, cable, satellite and telco: 100 million or 90% of all TV households.

"Watching TV" photo from Shutterstock.

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