Intel‘s new push into the cable TV arena could be delayed significantly, if cable companies have their way. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Intel’s plan to offer cable TV over the internet is on hold until content-licensing agreements can be ironed out with cable companies.
Citing unnamed “people familiar with [Intel’s] plans,” the journal reports that the new cable service might be available by mid or late 2013.
Content negotiations with cable companies are rumored to have been a stumbling block for Apple’s HDTV device as well. In September 2012 it became clear that a fall launch of the Apple TV set would not pan out. Cable companies were rumored to be insisting that Apple devices be rented to consumers through cable companies, and that they have a hand in the development of the software running on the device – a point on which Apple almost certainly won’t budge.
For Intel, the holdup could be the company’s plans to offer TV channel subscriptions a la carte, rather than exclusively in bundles. Cable companies have enjoyed content monopolies for years, shoring up less-viewed channels and niche programming with the package deals. By once again preventing cable TV from catching up to technology, the companies risk losing out to a burgeoning world of content networks and studios popping up online.