It looks like the cable TV market was harder to crack than Intel thought: Verizon finalized the acquisition today of Intel Media, the chipmaker’s research group dedicated to the development of internet-based “Cloud TV”. In a press release, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company intends to use the division’s intellectual property, products, and employees to improve its FiOS TV service.
Under development for several years, Intel’s project, tentatively named OnCue, aimed to simplify the IPTV viewing experience. Features like easy search and the apps, along with the integration of live programming and on-demand content, were the highlight of the company’s set top box, which was announced in February of last year and rumored to have been tested in the homes of Intel employees.
Intel’s inability to secure content ultimately killed the project. Despite offering to pay significantly more than cable competitors for programming, the company failed to land a single deal. Verizon hopes to fare better; by relying on content deals the company has in place, Verizon could conceivably expand its TV offerings to new markets via the internet. That vision may take time to fully realize, but the acquisition definitely signals a challenge to cable incumbents like Comcast and Time Warner.