Verizon set to launch out-of-region, Netflix-like streaming service in 2012
Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 07-12-2011
Verizon is looking to beat over-the-top (OTT) providers like Netflix and Amazon at their own game in 2012, with its own online streaming service.
According to The Reuters news agency, the service will be targeted outside of its regional residential territories but the idea is not to become a virtual TV operator with a service that replicates FiOS.
Citing several unnamed sources within the organisation, Reuters added that Verizon was eyeing the 85 million US households outside of its regulation-approved wireline territory for a "package of programming [that] would be limited in its scope," involving one or two content partners. For instance, it could launch a premium movies package or a children's programming bundle.
That fact may be key to getting the service off the ground: The sources noted that Verizon has been in negotiations with content providers for two years, but one of the main hold-ups has been the fact that media companies are (rightly) concerned about alienating their existing pay-TV partners in those service regions. A service that plays more like a complement to pay-TV rather than a threat to it would be much more palatable.
Also, Verizon currently has 5 million FiOS subscribers--a lucrative set of IPTV consumers that the telco would be very loathe to cannibalise with a competing online service. Hence, the sources told Reuters, the out-of-footprint strategy.