Speaking at the Citigroup Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced Verizon’s plan to offer an over-the-top video service at some point later in 2015. The service will include 20-30 channels and will initially be available on mobile devices only.
As MultiChannel reports, McAdam told those at the conference that TV providers were now realizing that customers weren’t interested in paying for “300 channels” when they only watch a select number of channels.
Verizon itself is coming off a failed challenge to Netflix with their streaming video joint venture with RedBox. But this time, Verizon is aiming at strictly LTE customers who want to watch entertainment on their mobile devices. To gear up for this new challenge, Verizon has purchased Intel Media’s OnCue online video assets, content delivery company EdgeCast and upLynk, a startup that develops multiscreen video publishing platforms.
But even with the new acquisitions, Verizon will face the same uphill battle that other video offerings battle against: license restrictions. Intel put hundreds of millions into their failed video venture and were unable to strike a single content deal. Not one.
In his speech to the conference, McAdam admitted to the annoyance of dealing with such restrictions and noted that the license restrictions were why Verizon could only offer the video service initially to only mobile-devices.
Even with Verizon’s size and current FiOS offerings, the chances of them getting broadcasters to loosen programming rights (so that customers could watch shows wherever and however they want) is unlikely.