×

Verizon In Advanced Talks to Buy Intel’s Internet TV Unit

Verizon Communications is in “advanced talks” on a deal to acquire Intel Media, which has aborted plans to launch an over-the-top pay TV package, Variety has confirmed.

The deal, if it happens, would signal Verizon’s move to become the first “virtual” subscription TV service in the U.S. Verizon offers a traditional facilities-based TV service through FiOS, with 5.2 million video subscribers. But FiOS covers only a portion of the country — and the telco could seek to leverage its existing FiOS programming deals to challenge competitors outside its own operating regions.

Reps for Verizon and Intel declined to comment.

Word that the telco is near clinching a deal for Intel Media was reported earlier Friday by Bloomberg, which said Verizon could announce a pact as soon as next week. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, talks are ongoing and there is no imminent deal. Verizon’s discussions with Intel about buying the Internet TV business were reported in October by AllThingsD.

Intel had been seeking as much as $500 million for the group, Bloomberg reported last month. It’s not clear how big Verizon’s current offer on the table is, but the telco “may pay less than $200 million” for Intel Media, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

The chip giant spent more than two years developing a set-top box and service that would deliver live and on-demand TV programming over the Internet, under the brand name “OnCue,” in a bid to challenge incumbent cable and satellite TV services. Intel Media has been led by former BBC exec Erik Huggers, and the division staffed up with more than 350 employees, taking over a building on the company’s Santa Clara, Calif., campus.

But Intel has dropped efforts to commercially launch the offering, which it had hoped to debut by the end of 2013, and has been seeking to unload the division.

The high cost of acquiring programming rights and running a consumer-facing pay-TV service appeared to lead Intel to shift gears. CEO Brian Krzanich, who took the top job this spring, has said that the chip company needs to focus on its core business as well as driving into mobile.

More Digital

  • Kathreen Khavari

    Kathreen Khavari Tapped by Refinery29 for 'Embrace' Comedy Pilot

    Refinery29 will begin production in 2019 on “Embrace,” a pilot from writing duo Kathreen Khavari (“Big Little Lies”) and Chuck Neal. “Embrace” will star Khavari as she comes up with an unconventional solution to prevent her Iranian immigrant parents from having to move back to Iran. Refinery29 bills the show, set in Khavari’s hometown of [...]

  • Outlander Season 4

    Starz Available for $5 a Month for Three Months Through the Holidays

    Starz is having an online holiday sale: The premium cable network is selling three months of its online streaming service for $5 per month, down from the regular price of $8.99 per month. The offer is available to new users who sign up until the end of December. Subscribers also get a 7-day free trial, [...]

  • Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg Strictly

    Listen: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman Go Long on Short-Form Entertainment

    One is a legend in the media business, the other in the tech world. But together Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman are intent on bringing the best of both worlds together for their ambitious new venture: Quibi. On the latest episode of the Variety podcast Strictly Business, the dynamic duo shared their battle plan to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

  • virtual reality

    How VR Is Being Used to Help Children With Learning Disabilities, Autism

    The United States Department of Education is betting on virtual reality to help students with high-functioning autism and learning disabilities in schools across the country. This month the Office of Special Education and Programs announced its investment of $2.5 million toward a new program that will use VR to nurture social skills in students with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content