As it turns out, disrupting the television market is pretty difficult. Apple
, despite admitting that the TV business is one of intense interest, hasn't been able to crack the nut that would meld online and pay-TV content in a way that's dramatically different and better than the mishmash we have today. Earlier this year, Intel seemed to believe that it was on the way to accomplishing that goal, but now, things aren't looking so rosy. The service was to be called OnCue
, and it was supposedly going to revamp the television experience by using an IPTV approach
that brought pay-TV channels to the small screen via an Internet connection.
Ambitions were real, but so were the hurdles. Content companies are in no hurry to see the Internet eat away at profit margins that have been historically high, and even a name like Intel didn't gain much traction internally. Now, the company is hoping to offload the work it had accomplished by the end of this year for a whopping $500 million, with Verizon Communications said to be "in talks" with owners of broadcast and cable channels. In other words, Verizon may snap up the technology and try to succeed where Intel failed.
Intel's new goal is to simply recoup expenses, while providing silicon for the boxes that are (hopefully) built by whatever suitor claims OnCue. One of the biggest consumer issues with OnCue was that it did not plan to make a la carte viewing a reality; the biggest headache for consumers is paying for 400 channels when they only watch 9. Of course, bundling is where the profits are, so content companies are fighting tooth and nail to prevent any unbundling from happening. Hopefully, their world will come crashing down sooner rather than later... for our wallet's sake.