Ever since Intel noticed that its main revenue source, the PC industry, started its meltdown, the company has been trying hard to score more income from more and more markets. Intel managed to enter the smartphone business thanks to Orange, and then launched a $100 million car technology research fund. Now, reports say that Intel has targeted another market with significant revenue potential. It seems that Intel is now preparing for its own piece of the internet TV game.
A Wall Street Journal report announced yesterday that Intel has reached out to several media companies that will eventually join forces to help it launch a “virtual cable operator”. As WSJ writes, the virtual cable operator “would offer U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle similar to subscriptions sold by cable and satellite – TV operators”.
Intel’s upcoming virtual cable operator would provide paid TV services on everything from actual TV sets to computers and the plethora of mobile devices. Apparently, to the gadgets that would play the actual channels Intel is planning to sell its own. The source points out Intel’s plan is to market a set top box that comes with an internet connection and the ability of streaming TV channels as well as video on demand.
Intel’s plan to enter the market puts the chipmaker in direct competition with both companies that already have moved TV services over the internet, as well as the conventional cable and satellite TV providers. Competition is likely to be cut throat aggressive but Intel isn’t quite the company to back down from such challenges.
However, its direct competitors, AT&T and Verizon Communications have already invested and spent a great deal of time to make sure customers will come to them first for such services. Plus, Intel’s plan for a set top box might end up having the same results as Apple and Google’s TV.
So far, Intel hasn’t made any public comments regarding its plans to launch a branded virtual cable operator, but Wall Street Journal’s source explains the negotiations aren’t final. Still, backing the source’s comments is the recent employment of Erik Huggers, from British Broadcasting Corp. Huggers was employed in January 2011 to take charge of Intel’s strategy to develop a home entertainment player.