Ver­i­zon teases de­tails of new video ser­vice


Ver­i­zon is launch­ing a mo­bile video ser­vice this sum­mer that would show sports, con­certs and other types of con­tent.

The largest U.S. wire­less provider teased a few de­tails of its up­com­ing of­fer­ings Tues­day while an­nounc­ing it had com­pleted its US$4.4 bil­lion pur­chase of AOL Inc. The deal is de­signed to help Ver­i­zon Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. ex­pand in mo­bile video and advertising as more hours are spent watch­ing video, read­ing and shop­ping on phones and tablets.

There has been a pro­lif­er­a­tion of online video op­tions in re­cent months. Many are aimed at peo­ple who have can­celed or never signed up for ca­ble, like Dish’s US$20a-month Sling TV — a mini ca­ble bun­dle that streams over the In­ter­net — and HBO Now, which gives you the pre­mium ca­ble chan­nel’s movies and TV shows with­out the ex­pense of the ca­ble bun­dle. HBO Now costs US$15 a month.

Ver­i­zon’s mo­bile video ser­vice will work on com­peti­tors’ net­works as well as on Wi-Fi and will in­clude ad-sup­ported data, says Ver­i­zon ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Marni Walden. That could mean an advertiser pays for some of the data re­quired — video is a data hog.

The ser­vice will also have a “pre­mium” com­po­nent, Walden said. That could be pay-per-view con­tent.

Ver­i­zon is se­cur­ing deals for live and on-de­mand con­tent, Walden said. The com­pany cur­rently has the rights to the Live Earth con­cert, a part­ner­ship with the NFL that lets wire­less phone sub­scribers pay US$5 a month to watch live football games and a deal for ex­clu­sive con­tent with Awe­some­nessTV, an In­ter­net video net­work.

AT&T, Ver­i­zon’s wire­less ri­val, has gone in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion with video. It’s buy­ing satel­lite TV provider DirecTV for US$48.5 bil­lion. Reg­u­la­tors must still ap­prove that deal.

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