Intel says its OTT service will expand pay TV space

Intel, which is planning to introduce an OTT service later this year, believes it will expand rather than crowd the existing pay TV market by offering "smarter bundles" aimed at younger connected consumers.

"The time is now for change," said Eric Free, vice president and general manager of content and services for Intel Media, speaking at the TV Connect event, according to a Light Reading story.

Intel's idea is to attract customers with cord cutting and cord shaving tendencies with a traditional-looking pay TV service with non-traditional attractions for younger consumers seeking more flexibility in their viewing options.

To that end, Intel Media plans to launch the cloud-based OTT service "later this year" with a mix of live and on-demand content and some interactive apps to "make it easier for customers to discover and access content on multiple screen types," the LR story said. Intel will supply consumers with its own broadband-connected device to receive the as-of-yet unnamed service that also will offer a more targeted advertising platform than available from traditional broadcast-type multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).

According to a presentation at the Next TV Summit, Intel will operate the service similar to an existing pay TV subscription/advertising model and will go after consumers directly. It's currently testing the service with employees in three markets on the West Coast, said Free.

Coming in on top of existing pay TV networks and using a similar model might seem problematic in a space already crowded with cable, telco and satellite providers, but Free said Intel will use "the concept of more thematic bundles" rather than price or a la carte programming to win the day. He also downplayed—although not dismissing—the threat of potential broadband caps and metered data usage models impacting the Intel service, contending that new compression technology like HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) should make it possible to deliver more bits for fewer bucks.

"If the caps change, we'll change it from a business perspective," he promised.

For more:
- Light Reading has this story

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