Despite its efforts, Intel is seeing some delays in its efforts to develop an Internet-based TV service, partially because of delays in reaching content agreements with media companies. Sound familiar?
News of Intel’s interest in the pay TV service first surfaced last March. At the time, it was said that the company was hoping to launch a service by the end of 2012. Seeing as it’s now 2013, this obviously didn’t happen, and the timing of the release of the service is not clear.
In 2011, Intel established a group called Intel Media to oversee its TV attempts. Since then the group has hired a number of Internet TV specialists who worked at companies like Microsoft and Rovi Corp., a Silicon Valley company known for TV programming guides and other media services.
Intel has pitched its plan to create a “virtual cable operator” to media companies that would offer U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle that is similar to subscriptions sold by cable- and satellite-TV operators. Intel has also been talking about “perceptual computing” for PCs and tablets, which is based on adding technologies like speech recognition and face analysis. Intel’s set-top box would reportedly include these capabilities.
Content licensing has been a bit of a speed bump for Intel. Entertainment companies are often against making deals with Web TV services as it could take away from the existing pay TV service. According to the report, an executive at a major TV company said last month that he didn’t want to be one of the first to make a deal with Intel because it could upset his relationship with existing distributors.
While entertainment companies usually license bundles of channels that include both popular networks and lesser known channels, the TV executive said Intel wanted to offer channels outside of this conventional pay TV bundle. He also said that getting companies to license individual channels would mean much higher fees than what the companies currently receive and his company and Intel are far from reaching an agreement concerning the financial terms.
Sources have said that Intel has reached at least one content deal, though the partner has not yet been identified.
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