Is Verizon Set To ‘Sling’ It With Its Own ‘Skinny’ OTT Plan?


The broadcast TV industry may soon have a new player to negotiate retransmission fees with, if Bloomberg technology reporters Lucas Shaw, Scott Moritz and Gerry Smith are accurate soothsayers.

The trio of reporters on Thursday, citing “people familiar with the matter,” note that Verizon Communications “has been securing streaming rights from television network owners in preparation for the nationwide launch of a live online TV service.”

Thus far, no one at Verizon is talking, but Bloomberg’s coverage has become the talk of the TV industry. Citing the people in the know, the reporters say Verizon will begin offering to consumers a package “with dozens of channels” this summer.

It would be a “over-the-top” service that veers from its go90 teen-oriented streaming video service aimed at teens, as well as its Verizon FiOS service, which mirrors AT&T’s U-Verse home TV offering — said to be nearing its demise as AT&T shifts most of its TV focus to its recently acquired DirecTV.

The key competitor to this new Verizon service appears to be DISH Network, which debuted Sling TV in 2015 and has seen much success with the “skinny bundle” offered via the internet.

Pricing for the Verizon offering would likely fall in line with the $20 monthly subscription for Sling TV, the people in the know told Bloomberg.

Accessibility would likely be through a Roku or Apple TV device, in addition to smartphones and tablets.

The timing is key for Verizon, as both Alphabet’s YouTube and Hulu plan to launch similar internet-based limited-access pay-TV packages to consumers who do not wish to spend the amounts typically seen for a more robust MVPD-delivered cable TV plan.