Intel could be putting its still-unseen internet TV service up for adoption.
AllThingsD got the tip from sources that the processor manufacturer is close to finalizing a deal with US carrier Verizon to take over the former's web TV plans. According to the anonymous sources, the two companies are in "advanced negotiations" to turn control of Intel Media over to the carrier.
However, it's not clear whether the entire Media unit would be under Verizon's command or if Intel could keep its fingers in the web TV pie or other parts of the business.
While Intel's TV service, called "OnCue," has failed to reach market (thanks in no small part to lack of entertainment partners), Verizon already has a sizable network with its paid FiOS TV service. An Intel deal could bring to Verzion TV customers 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. Before that, 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 the internet TV platform would stream. Intel workers numbering in the thousands were said to be testing out the service.
The plan was to have OnCue out before the end of 2013, but without content partner backing, its release was seemingly 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 has long seen the writing on the wall.
And yet, with Verizon reportedly throwing it a lifeline, Intel's TV plans may have a shot at making it afterall.