Verizon Communications plans to launch a movie-and-TV streaming service that would compete with Netflix, cable TV systems and potentially Amazon, Reuters reported Tuesday. In a strategy that would make the service available to 85 million US households, Verizon is talking with prospective programming partners about introducing the service outside markets where the phone company offers its broadband and TV package known as FiOs — which currently has 5 million subscribers. Verizon’s new service could be rolled out next year, according to one of the sources Reuters cited. The programming package would be limited in scope with a focus on movies similar to Liberty Media’s Starz Play and Viacom’s Epix. It could also include children’s programming from Disney or Viacom. The latter’s CEO Phillipe Dauman said at a UBS conference this week Viacom wold be willing to negotiate with other broadband services. Epix’s exclusive online-streaming contract with Netflix for movies from Paramount Lionsgate and MGM expired next September. News about the new streaming service follows in the wake of sister company Verizon Wireless’ plans to resell cable TV service for Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House Networks in exchange for paying $3.6 billion to the cable companies for spectrum.
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