Trying to flip the TV market upside down is not something that can be taken on by most companies. Intel attempted to do just that with a new pay-TV service but after realizing that it would have a hard time making a dent in such a secure market, it is now trying to sell the service for $500 million, according to Bloomberg News.
Intel's OnCue project would allow people to stream regular cable television without a cable box. Even though the market may be heading in that direction, Intel doesn't seem to think that it could make it work. One of the more likely buyers for OnCue is Verizon, especially since it has already shown interest in streaming TV services.
Not Even Launched
With such high hopes for the streaming TV project, Intel is likely unhappy it is having to offload it to someone else. Based on Tuesday's reports, Intel was having difficulty obtaining content for OnCue and so had no other option than to put it up for sale.
Many analysts had assumed it would be hard to find partners for OnCue since the TV market is one of the more stable tech industries, and most content providers are not interested in venturing into uncharted territory.
Intel was able to fully develop OnCue's technology earlier this year, but without any content to offer, executives at the company seemed to let the project fall by the wayside. At this point, Intel is only looking to recoup the cost of the project.
Other companies have shown similar interest in offering an online TV service, but unlike Intel, they have not gone through with their projects due to concerns regarding the cost of the service as well as finding content to offer through it.
A Potential Buyer
Sources close to Intel have told technology publications that Verizon appears to be interested in acquiring the technology behind OnCue. That makes sense since Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic television service is already a major competitor for traditional cable companies.
By offering an online TV service, Verizon would be able to obtain customers beyond the reach of FiOS. Since Verizon has had to lay down the fiber optic cable for its television service, the rollout has been very slow, forcing many Americans to stick with other cable companies.
Verizon executives reportedly have been meeting with executives at Intel to discuss a potential acquisition. Intel hopes to sell the service before the end of the year, meaning that deal should be announced within the coming month if that deadline is going to be met. No matter who takes over OnCue, the service does pose a threat to cable, and the threat will be even larger if Verizon decides to purchase it.