Verizon’s mobile video service will begin testing soon, be ready in 8 weeks

By Jim O'Neill on Jul 28 2015 at 8:15 AM
Verizon’s mobile video service will begin testing soon, be ready in 8 weeks

Eager to be one of the chosen for Verizon’s beta test of its Go90 mobile TV service? Well, you’ll have to wait until later this summer to get a full look, but your chances are pretty good of at least getting a peek soon…. Verizon is planning on testing the service with thousands of customers in the next few weeks.

Bloomberg reports that the service will debut within the next two months. And, although it appears to be having some trouble getting all of the content it wants, what it does have – content from HGTV, the Food Network, ESPN, Vice Media, the NFL, Dreamworks Animation, content from its recent AOL acquisition and short clips from other content providers – will begin to test almost immediately.

“This is unlike any other system,” Verizon's spokesman Alberto Cana said. “This is a completely new product, and the beta piece is about testing the platform and some of the functions, like sharing.”

Verizon has been talking about its mobile TV service for months, and had been expecting to launch it earlier in the summer.

But, it’s had some difficulties pinning down content deals.

CFO Fran Shammo, during the company’s Q2 earnings call said the company had signed deals with a number of providers but acknowledged Go90 “won’t be the full entire of everything we contemplate within the product set.”

“It will be an initial launch, and as the year goes on it will progress,” Shammo added.

Shammo said Go90 will “absolutely” to be ready to go by late summer.

“We have a very good lineup,” he said. “This is a lineup that is really around all live type news clips and sports and events, so very different than what anyone else is bringing to the marketplace.”

Several months ago, Shammo intimated that the service would be ad supported, but it’s more likely that Verizon actually will take a more hybrid approach to financing its big over-the-top push. Look for a combination of sponsored programming, traditional ad-supported fare, perhaps pay-per view and, yes, even some free content.

Stay tuned.

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