Verizon for some time now has been acquiring and positioning the necessary bits and pieces to launch an online TV service to compete with the Sling TVs and DirecTV Nows of the world. Unfortunately, a number of factors have put the telecommunications giant behind the eight ball.
Verizon initially aimed to launch the streaming video service, a separate product from its FiOS fiber-based TV package, this summer with dozens of channels on offer. Executive turnover in its video division as well as uncertainty regarding key service features, however, have hindered the process.
Chip Canter, a former NBCUniversal executive, left in April and just last week, Ben Grad, Verizon’s executive director for content strategy and acquisition, exited to take a job with FuboTV.
Former Yahoo executive Erin McPherson, who joined Verizon in December, is overseeing negotiations with media companies according to sources. McPherson served as vice president and head of video at Yahoo and previously oversaw programming for Maker Studios, the online video network Disney purchased in 2014.
Verizon has already secured a handful of distribution deals but some major media companies are reportedly reluctant to participate while key specifics like pricing and programming mix remain up in the air. As such, the launch date has slipped to the fall and could be put off even further according to a recent report from Bloomberg.
Photo courtesy Getty Images