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Verizon had plans to launch its own live online TV service in September, but is reportedly having trouble signing agreements for popular networks.

Sources told Bloomberg that Verizon “isn’t close” to deals for many of the country’s most-watched networks, and the service’s planned September launch has been delayed until at least later this year, and potentially longer.  

The carrier has been attempting for months to obtain rights to networks in order to compete with online offerings like AT&T’s DirectTV Now, and Hulu. However, major media companies have been reluctant to sign on as Verizon hasn’t nailed down specifics for the service including pricing, programming mix, and technology, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Further complicating the matter, Verizon also recently lost key executives. Ben Grad, executive director for content strategy and acquisition, departed last week for FuboTV, and Chip Canter, a former NBCUniversal executive, left in April.  

Verizon has been investing more resources into media, and already developed its own web video service go90.  That service features shorter, YouTube-style clips, but has reportedly not been doing well, with 155 employees being laid off in January.

If Verizon is able to get its efforts on track by the end of the year it will also be competing with Comcast’s new streaming service, Xfinity Instant TV.  Comcast CEO David Watson said during a second quarter earnings call that its Instant TV offering is gearing up for a full debut at the end of the third quarter.

 

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