Talking tech since 2003

Today, Verizon announced that it was buying Intel Media—colloquially known among tech sites as Intel TV—for an undisclosed amount of money. The acquisition has been rumored since at least as early as October, but as suspected Intel’s OnCue Cloud TV technology will be integrated into Verizon’s various services. Subscribers will be able to watch television content through the Internet on web browsers and on mobile devices—all in all, not a bad service to offer new and longtime customers.

A post on CNET about the acquisition estimates that the purchase price for Intel TV is somewhere between $200 million and $500 million, with “industry sources” pegging the value of Intel TV “at about $300 million.” And considering the potential the acquisition has for Verizon, that sounds like something of a bargain in the grand scheme of things.

According to the press release published today, the purchase will give customers the benefits of “elegant search and discovery; interactivity and cross-screen ease of use.” This sounds as though it could mean that users may be able to search and select content on their TV sets through mobile devices like smartphones—sort of the same second-screen ideas being employed with varying success by Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s SmartGlass App. And because Verizon is itself both a television content provider and a wireless carrier, I have a feeling that their initiative to provide this kind of second-screen interactivity might prove to be a lot more successful overall.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich offered up a statement regarding the sale, and what it will mean for Intel’s own focus going forward:

“The critical factor in gaining efficient access to content is based on your ability to scale quickly in subscribers and end users, which is why selling these assets to Verizon makes perfect sense, with its millions of FiOS network and wireless customers. This sale also enables Intel to further align our focus and resources around advancing our broad computing product portfolio in segments ranging from the Internet-of-Things to data centers.”

The press release says that the acquisition could be finalized as early as Q1 2014, meaning that Verizon might have a pretty nice feather in its cap for the year ahead. While it can certainly boast a large and reliable wireless network, Verizon isn’t known for being a value-packed choice for service. Being able to offer television content over their 4G LTE network to customers at low or no additional cost might be exactly what it needs to retain customers, especially in light of T-Mobile’s recent overtures to its competitors’ customers.

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