Intel could be putting its still-unseen internet TV service up for adoption.
AllThingsDigital got the tip from sources that processor manufacturer is close to finalizing a deal with US carrier Verizon to take over its web TV plans. According to the anonymous sources, the two companies are in "advanced negotiations" to turn over control of Intel Media to the carrier.
However, it's not clear whether Verizon would take over the whole Media unit or if Intel could keep its fingers in the web TV pie or other aspects of the business.
While Intel's TV service, called "OnCue," has floundered without the support of entertainment partners, Verizon already has a sizable network with its paid FiOS TV service. What this Intel deal could bring to Verzion TV customers is new hardware that, for good or bad, won't be able to recognize your face.
To save a sinking ship
Intel originally announced its plans to enter the entertainment industry in January 2011. Years before, the company was beating its chest with plans to install chips into HDTVs and how the Smart TV revolution is the "biggest since the move to color."
To help build a viable platform, the PC part maker enlisted Ex-BBCer Erik Huggers. Huggers brought on a team of 300 employees who built the box over which Intel TV would stream. Intel workers numbering in the thousands were said to be testing out the service.
The plan was to have the service out before the end of 2013, but without media network backing, its release was reportedly shelved until 2014.
Huggers, by the way, was recently reported to be eying the CEO position at Hulu. Someone else got the job, but it could be a sign the Intel Media head saw the writing on the wall.
However, with Verizon reportedly throwing it a lifeline, Intel's TV plans may have a shot at making it.