AT&T Throwing Its Hat In The Online Video Ring With New Venture

(Todd Kravos)

(Todd Kravos)

Times used to be, the only kids on the block offering online video services were Netflix and Hulu. But slowly, ever so slowly, the smell of money to be made has been luring competitors like Amazon and Youtube and now, AT&T. The telecommunications company announced a new $500 million deal to start its own online video venture.

AT&T and its investment firm partner in the new project, Chernin Group, said they’ve committed a half a billion to what will be a combination of advertising and subscription-based video-on-demand services as well as online streaming, reports the Associated Press.

It’s even more interesting when you think about the fact that AT&T offers TV content through its U-Verse service, which is on par with more traditional cable TV providers. But this venture would likely appeal more to those who’ve cut the cord and don’t pay for cable or satellite TV. Which sort of makes AT&T in competition with itself… or just scoops up money it lost from customers who’ve fled the cable/satellite market. Heck, if you can’t beat’em, join’em, my Great Uncle Alistair probably would’ve said if he’d existed.

These two players teamed up before on a failed bid to acquire Hulu last year, points out Variety, so it seems they had their hearts set on this idea.

“AT&T and The Chernin Group are combining our skill sets to address the growing consumer demand for accessing content how and when they want it,” John Stankey, AT&T’s chief strategy officer, said in announcing the venture.

There’s no word yet on when the new service will be available (or if it’ll be called like, Death Star TV), but you can bet your sweet behind that AT&T won’t want Verizon to get the jump on it, as its rival is also reportedly planning an online video service after buying Intel Media earlier this year.

AT&T joins crowded field with online video plans [Associated Press]
AT&T, Chernin Group Invest $500 Million in Over-the-Top Video Venture [Variety]