Intel is reportedly looking to exit the TV business before even bringing a product to market. Chipzilla is holding advanced-level negotiations with Verizon to hand over control of Intel Media according to sources familiar with the talks as first reported by All Things D.
In what some have described as a peculiar move, Intel hired BBC web video chief Erik Huggers in January 2011 as corporate vice president of Intel Media. He was tasked with creating an Internet TV service that would run on an Intel-branded set-top box and eventually put together a team of 300 employees including some hired away from Apple, Google and Netflix to create the box and handle marketing duties.
The set-top box supposedly came to fruition as OnCue and was being tested by thousands of Intel employees in their homes this past spring. As recent as this summer, the company was sparing no expense to get the box up and running. The problem, however, is one that virtually every tech company has faced when dealing with the television industry: securing content deals.
Verizon, on the other hand, could be a perfect fit for a project like OnCue. Unlike Intel, the telecom already has connections and relationships with TV networks through its FiOS network that currently supplies more than five million subscribers with pay TV.
Bandwidth wouldn’t be an issue, either, as the company provides broadband access to nearly six million users. If successful, an Internet TV service like Intel’s could give Verizon plenty of incentive to revisit plans to expand their broadband coverage which would no doubt appeal to heavy Internet users stuck with slow connections from their current providers.