Verizon CEO Eyes Netflix Streaming Deal, Online TV Talks With Hollywood

9:35 AM PST 03/04/2014 by Georg Szalai
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has discussed a streaming deal with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in the vein of a recent Comcast deal with the video streaming firm

"We would love to partner with content companies" to bring mobile content to users of Verizon's FiOS pay TV service and launch a wireless Internet TV service.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said Tuesday that he expects to reach a streaming deal with Netflix similar to a recent agreement struck by Comcast and said the telecom giant wants to partner with content companies for an over-the-top, or broadband-only, video service.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco, he said "we would love to partner with content companies" to bring mobile content offers to subscribers of Verizon's FiOS pay TV service and a wireless broadband service to consumers.

While content licensing agreements for that depend on what content companies want to do, McAdam suggested that big entertainment companies "realize that the pie now grows if they go over the top." He added: "We are going to work with them and find a model.” So far, he said, content companies have feared to upset the healthy pay TV eco-system, but he signaled confidence that there are ways to launch a new service without hurting existing pay TV offers.

Verizon recently agreed to acquire Intel Media's online TV start-up OnCue, which has been working on an Internet TV service. The second-largest U.S. phone firm said at the time that the purchase would accelerate the launch of new features for its FiOS service and allow it to offer an online service outside of its coverage area and on mobile devices.

Asked about a recent deal between Netflix and Comcast that connects the streaming video firm access to Comcast's broadband pipes in return for payments, Mc Adam said that deal sounded "smart," citing that it would avoid congestion for "the core of the Internet" and "some compensation."

Said the Verizon boss: "I have spoken to [Netflix CEO] Reed" Hastings live and via email. "I think we will get some sort of arrangement with them as well."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai


 

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