Verizon’s delayed streaming TV service now due in spring 2018

Verizon sign from MWCA

Verizon’s attempts to enter the already-crowded streaming TV marketplace have thus far been thwarted by various issues, but the company is reportedly planning to launch next year.

According to Bloomberg, the company has tentatively circled spring 2018 as a launch timeframe for its service. Verizon had previously expressed hopes to launch its service this year but those hopes were dashed by technology hurdles and difficult negotiations with broadcasters and programmers.

Verizon also faces another setback amid media chief Marni Walden’s imminent exit from the company. Walden will officially leave her position at the end of the year and transition to an advisory role before leaving the company in February 2018. So she could still be involved with getting Verizon’s streaming TV service off the ground.

Earlier this year, after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed his company’s aspirations to compete with other virtual MVPDs, Walden spoke with investors and offered some strategic details about Verizon’s plans.

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“Originals are important and sports are really important. But we don’t want to do just a ‘me too’ thing out there. You’re going to see us do things in a different way. It’s definitely not about quantity though. There are some things you have to have but we’re not looking for the kitchen sink on this one,” Walden said.

Verizon has now apparently settled on providing a “sleeker version” of what is currently offered by pay-TV operators, according to the report. McAdam said it was critical that Verizon enter the streaming TV space—in part to give its AOL-Yahoo ad business another platform—but said Verizon had yet to decide if its service would be standalone or a partnership.

When or if the service does launch next year, it will be entering a fairly mature vMVPD market where more established players like Sling TV and DirecTV Now have settled in and more recent upstarts Hulu and YouTube TV have begun to ramp up national marketing efforts.