For better promotion of its upcoming Internet TV service, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ has signed a multi-year content licensing agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. SNI to stream the latter’s TV channels for its mobile video offerings. Scripps Networks is a leading lifestyle media company with an extensive portfolio of TV channels like Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.
Verizon’s mobile video service is slated to hit the market later this year and will offer 20 to 30 top-rated TV channels. Management stated that its targeted audience will be millennials (teens and young adults) who will be served largely through the mobile video offer. Verizon, which is currently the sixth largest pay-TV operator in the U.S., seeks to focus on two different categories of viewers through its Internet TV service and fiber-based FiOS TV offerings.
Verizon’s mobile video service will offer several college sports programs from major content developers like CBS Sports, ESPN, ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders, and 120 Sports. On Mar 2015, the company had announced that its Internet TV platform will include channels like AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV, and will feature more than 200 hours of original programming.
Internet TV is gradually gaining market traction in the U.S. Of late, the legacy pay-TV industry in the country has been facing severe competition from online video streaming service providers. The low-cost over-the-top video streaming service has resulted in massive cord cutting that is currently threatening the pay-TV business model. Internet TV has emerged as a strong alternative to counter this competitive threat.
In Feb 2015, DISH Network Corp. DISH had commercially launched its Internet TV service called “Sling TV” throughout the U.S. The Sling TV service is available for $20 a month and offers several top-rated channels. Customers are also offered add-on packages for an additional $5 per month.
In the same league, the U.S. division of Sony Corp. SNE recently launched its new PlayStation Vue Internet TV service in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. The service is set for a national rollout later this year. Additionally, AT&T Inc. T entered into a partnership with Chernin Group to offer similar services and is currently awaiting regulatory approval for its proposed takeover of DIRECTV, the largest satellite TV operator in the U.S.
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