Verizon set to offer virtual pay-TV play by mid-2015

By jimoneill

Verizon will soon offer a virtual pay-TV play

Verizon’s acquisition of Intel’s OnCue Internet TV unit looks like it’s a bet that’ll pay off after all. CEO Lowell McAdam yesterday told an audience at the Goldman Sach’s Communicopia Conference that the telecom plans to introduce a virtual pay-TV play by the middle of next year.

“Over-the-top video is right around the corner,” McAdam said. “We’ve got the assets in place, and I don’t feel we need an awful lot more.”

McAdam said there would be an on-demand component to the new service, a la Netflix and Amazon, but said Verizon also would multicast live channels from broadcasters as well as major sporting events.

In addition to having most of the technology nearly ready to roll, McAdams also said the carrier had been successfully negotiating with studios to license content, something that has been seen as a stumbling block in the past. Discussions with content owners, he said, have “moved from almost a stiff arm to much more of an embrace,” adding that “over the last six months to a year, that dialogue is changing dramatically.”

And, he said, the service likely would offer smaller, consumer-managed packages of channels, a bow to a la carte programming that also has been much discussed.

“No one wants to have 300 channels on your wireless device,” he said. “I think everyone understands that it will go to a la carte. The question is what does that transition look like.”

The market is changing rapidly, he said, and it’s crucial that operators respond now.

“I don’t think there is anyone that would stand up here and say the only way (TV) is going to be offered five years from now is linear and it’s going to be tied to your TV set,” McAdam said. “Because, frankly, they will miss the market and they will be the ones left behind.”

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: Verizon set to offer virtual pay-TV play by mid-2015