Verizon has turned to Google for over-the-top TV: The telco will market and resell YouTube TV to wireless and Fios broadband customers nationwide — leading with 5G early adopters — under a pact with the internet giant.
The companies didn’t announce YouTube TV pricing, availability or other details; a Verizon rep said only that the reseller deal will launch later in 2019. Under the pact, Verizon said it will offer “unique, high-value YouTube TV promotions” across platforms.
This month Google hiked the price of YouTube TV earlier to $50 per month for the 70-plus channel package, an increase of 25% or 43% depending a customer’s existing subscription package.
Verizon last fall tapped YouTube TV for its 5G home broadband launch, including three months free of the OTT television package for initial customers in four markets including L.A.
At one time, Verizon was assembling its own OTT television package, but shifted gears to team with other services instead. It had paid around $200 million for Intel’s OnCue internet TV division, which it used to launch mobile-video service Go90 (before shutting that down last year).
Under the new Verizon-YouTube partnership, “we’re making it simple and seamless for Verizon’s customers to sign up to enjoy YouTube TV on-the-go on their mobile phones or tablets or at home on their big-screen devices,” Heather Rivera, YouTube’s global head of product partnerships at YouTube.
Verizon positioned the YouTube TV deal as giving it a marketing tool to push 5G wireless, which it has begun deploying in more areas. The telco said it plans to on-board other content partners as well.
“As we pave the path forward on 5G, we’ll continue to bring our customers options and access to premium content by teaming up with the best providers in the industry and leveraging our network as-a service strategy,” Erin McPherson, Verizon’s head of content strategy and acquisition, said in a statement.
YouTube TV, which debuted two years ago, is now available in every U.S. market, providing local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations in more than 90% of those (and three of the four in remaining markets) and cable networks including ESPN, CNN, HGTV, TNT, TBS, Food Network, and FX. YouTube TV includes cable networks and VOD programming from Disney, Fox, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and Discovery; absent from the lineup are A+E Networks and Viacom.
YouTube TV provides up to six accounts per household and three simultaneous video streams. Each user account has its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage-space limits (although recordings are deleted after nine months).
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