Published on May 24th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson1
Verizon nixes plans for its own streaming service…for now
Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has abandoned its plans to launch a streaming TV service saying instead it will partner with an existing service to bundle an offering with its soon-to-be-launched 5G broadband service later this year.
Speaking at a number of investor conferences in the last week including the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in Boston, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam revealed the new strategy saying, “I would expect us to partner with a third-party OTT product for that initial launch…Our view is we should partner with those that are in the linear game. Let them be very good at what they do. We’ll add digital content to that mix.”
McAdam said the company will have a streaming partner in place before the company launches 5G service in a number of U.S. cities including Sacramento and Los Angeles in the fourth quarter. It did not reveal who that partner might be, but the obvious possible suitors include Sling TV, YouTube TV, Playstation Vue, Philo, Hulu With Live TV, and Fubo.
The news is not a total surprise as Verizon has backed off its plans from last May to start it’s own streaming service and expand Fios TV as an online platform. Instead, the company has suffered from a number of issues in starting a streaming service and now appears to be cutting its losses, at least for now.
Matthew Ellis, Verizon Executive VP and CFO said the company is not ruling out a more Verizon-produced streaming service down the road.
“One of the things we’ve not been interested in is just doing a me-too-type product. So we continue to look at that,” Ellis said. “There’s still ways that there may be something that we can do that’s a different type product. If there are, we would move forward with it. But until we get comfortable, we really have something that’s a compelling offer to consumers, we’re happy to work with other solutions for customers to get what they need.”
Last October, Verizon said it was delaying the launch of its new streaming TV service for a second time from the end of 2017 to Spring 2018.