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Intel Could Expand TV Service With Liberty Global

Intel Could Expand TV Service With Liberty Global
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Bloomberg has reported that European cable operator Liberty Global is in talks to acquire Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) Web TV service.

The chipmaker has been looking to sell the unit, as it has not committed to making significant programming investments or announce any major TV programming partners. Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) was also reported to be interested in acquiring Intel's project.

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Intel had hoped to expand its product offering by creating new ways of delivering content powered by its chips. The company hired Erik Huggers, a former Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and British Broadcasting executive to run its digital media operations in 2011. Huggers is credited with creating the BBC iPlayer.

Intel's product, OnCue, is designed to give customers access to content across TV sets, smartphones and mobile devices. The device is described by as a “cloud-based DVR that has already recorded every show.” Intel had been hoping to release the product in 2013, but has been pushed back to 2014 amid many hurdles, including cable TV providers pressuring channel owners to shun pacts with Intel and other Internet-based TV providers.

Liberty Global recently spent $24 billion to acquire Virgin Media, a cable TV provider in the United Kingdom with nearly five million customers. Verizon also offers a TV service through its FiOS unit.

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