Verizon Communications Inc plans to launch a standalone service allowing customers to stream movies and television shows over the Web, in a fresh challenge to Netflix Inc and the traditional cable TV business, according to several people briefed on the plan.
The phone company is talking with prospective programming partners about the service, which would be introduced outside of markets where it currently offers its broadband and TV package, known as FiOS, these people said. That would make it available to some 85 million U.S. households.
The new service could be rolled out in 2012, according to one of the people.
If I were Netflix I’d sure as hell be weary of this as Verizon tends to do most things pretty well, particularly compared to other internet and wireless phone service providers. Still, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave a speech today in which he stated that the competition he fears most is HBO GO. His judgment has, of course, been proven to be occasionally flawed in the past.