Intel sells online pay TV assets to Verizon

Intel has sold Intel Media, the division that homes the assets of its planned online pay TV service, to telco Verizon.

Intel had planned to launch a cloud-based pay TV platform, dubbed OnCue, in the US before a wider roll-out but the plan was beset with problems. Intel reportedly struggled to score programming licence deals and OnCue was put on the block last year.

Liberty Global was among the companies touted as a potential buyer of the platform, which former BBC Future Media boss Erik Huggers developed, but Verizon has won out.

Intel said the deal would “accelerate the availability of next-generation video services, both integrated with Verizon FiOS fiber-optic networks and delivered over-the-top to any device”.

Verizon will off jobs to “substantially all” of Intel Media’s 350 staff, with Huggers and his management team set to continue leading the Santa Clara-based business.

The transaction, financial terms of which were not disclosed, is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Intel expects to sign off this quarter.

Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon, said: “The OnCue platform and team will help Verizon bring next-generation video services to audiences who increasingly expect to view content when, where and how they want it. Verizon already has extensive video content relationships, fixed and wireless delivery networks, and customer relationships in both the home and on mobile.

“This transaction provides us with the capabilities to build a powerful, capitally efficient engine for future growth and innovation. We will have the opportunity to enhance, expand, accelerate and integrate our delivery of video products and services to better serve audiences on a wide array of devices.”

Huggers, Intel Media’s corporate VP and general manager, added: “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved. Intel provided us with the technological know-how and resources to develop products and services that will fundamentally change the way we experience TV, and now Verizon gives us access to the marketplace and the ability to scale. It’s the next logical step, and we’re excited about the road ahead.”