Media

Intel close to signing TV content deals with NBC, Viacom, & Time Warner

Intel is apparently making some progress on bringing content for its forthcoming pay-TV service that’s expected to launch before the end of the year.

The company is nearing deals with a handful of major media companies –  including Time Warner, NBCUniversal, and Viacom –  to provide access to current and old TV show libraries on the new streaming service, according to a Bloomberg report released today that cites unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations.

Information about Intel’s new TV service first started popping up about a year ago. But besides claims by the company that it’ll revolutionize the TV watching experience, we still don’t know exactly what it will look like. We do know that the service will only be available to those that purchase a Intel-branded streaming set-top box that will offer access to third-party applications (like Netflix) and feature motion-sensitive controls similar to Xbox Kinect or what the Roku offers via motion-control remote. We also know that Intel’s TV service won’t come cheap, and will cost you roughly as much as you’re paying for traditional cable or satellite TV.

Back in December, Intel wasn’t haven’t any luck getting the media companies interested in a deal, delaying progress on the entire project. (Apple, which may or may not be launching its own TV service/device,  is also rumored to have found negotiations with media companies difficult.) My guess is that Intel switched its strategy from wanting customers to buy only the channels/content they wanted to a more bundled package like cable TV service providers already offer, which is something vice president of Intel media Erik Huggers indicated at the Dive Into Media conference last month.

But if Intel’s Pay TV service is going to go a bundled channel route, it’ll need to get content from all the major cable and broadcast networks. Intel is  beginning discussions with News Corp. about getting Fox TV shows available on the new service as well as preliminary discussions with CBS and Disney’s ABC network, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

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