Look out Netflix, here comes Verizon
Verizon will apparently launch a streaming product sometime in 2012 that will take on services such as Netflix, and potentially challenge traditional cable television services. The report from Reuters cites unnamed sources who are familiar with Verizon’s plans, which would roll out the service to markets that the company’s FiOS product doesn’t cover — making it available to approximately 85 million U.S. homes. Verizon’s FiOS TV currently serves about 5 million U.S. customers.
But a Verizon venture of this sort isn’t as easy as pie. Finding the right programming partners seems to be the key. Reuters mentions the Paramount/Lionsgate/MGM joint venture EPIX as a possible provider — as their contract with Netflix runs out in Sept. 2012. But apparently some content providers may be afraid an alternative internet-based service from Verizon would infringe upon current contracts with cable providers. Customers could essentially “cut the cord” with traditional TV service providers and choose a less expensive internet service. Needless to say, Verizon would have plenty of obstacles to overcome.
In related news, Verizon recently announced the company would sell television services for Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, while those companies will be able to sell Verizon Wireless services in bundled packages.