Intel Getting Closer To Launching Internet-Based Pay-TV Service

Intel is getting into the TV business, that much we already knew. But how soon? That's a question that's seemingly close to being answered. According to a new Bloomberg report, Intel -- the chip-making giant -- is "making progress in talks with Time Warner, NBC Universal and Viacom to obtain TV shows and films for a first-of-its-kind pay-TV service." Of course, these reports aren't being confirmed nor denied by Intel, but it's awfully likely to be true. After all, Intel wouldn't announce that it would be trying its hand at TV distribution without some deals being within reach.

It sounds as if money is the major hurdle remaining. Intel isn't hoping to deliver a la carte content; rather, it's in negotiations over financial terms of how much Intel will have to pay to deliver material that's already piped to a number of ISPs. Broadly, it seems that Intel has the support it needs to launch an Internet-based TV platform, but the dollars are apt to be a major sticking point. After all, whatever is agreed upon is likely to determine how expensive this is for consumers.

It's also mentioned that only a handful of major networks are "close" to buying into Intel's ideas, while others aren't so close. Having the major ones onboard from the start would hopefully give Intel that momentum required to get the ball rolling, though. The idea seems to be a complicated one. Intel wants to deliver pay-TV over one's broadband connection, but there aren't really any benefits to using Intel's service over existing pay-TV options. After all, if you have to pay for broadband Internet, that ISP is going to cut you a deal to also use them for pay-TV services. So, the only real feather in Intel's cap would be the ability to do a la carte, which it refuses to enable. It'll be interesting to see if people opt for Intel's TV services, which will reportedly boast a sexier user interface, over something that's perhaps cheaper, and certainly more familiar.