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Verizon ‘planning its own streaming service’

US telco Verizon is the process of securing rights to launch its own OTT TV streaming service, according to press reports.

According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, the US service provider plans to launch a service with live TV channels this summer that will be separate from its existing Go90 on-demand service and its FiOS IPTV offering.

If confirmed, Verizon’s would be the latest in a series of moves by US operators to launch ‘skinny bundle’ OTT TV packages at a lower price point than their ‘full fat’ mainstream pay TV offerings.

Two similar services – Dish Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now – have been launched over the last two years, with prices starting from US$20 and US$35 respectively.

According to the report, Verizon has been securing streaming rights in parallel to negotiating new contracts with programmers for the FiOS service, in some cases buying streaming rights ahead of pay TV contract renewals.

Bloomberg reported that it was not yet clear if Verizon would seek to market the OTT TV service alongside its telecom services. DirecTV Now is available at a discount to AT&T telecom customers.

CBS announced its contract renewal with Verizon on March 15, and said that the deal would include the potential granting of rights for new digital platforms, with specifics to be released at a later date.

“The renewal of our FiOS content carriage agreement for various CBS networks and our expanded rights for future digital platforms is in line with our Company’s strategy to deliver industry-leading content to viewers across multiple platforms and screens, while also achieving both our short and long-term economic goals,” said Ray Hopkins, president, television networks distribution at CBS, in a prepared statement.