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January 22, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Seeking to nab “cord cutters” who have dropped their cable or satellite services and now access programming online, Amazon has approached several media companies about licensing their TV channels for an Internet-based pay-TV service, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Wednesday), citing people familiar with the matter. The service would offer some of the same channels that are currently available via cable and satellite providers but would presumably be sold on an à la carte basis. Amazon denied that it is planning to license such channels or offer a pay-TV service. The Journal observed that other companies, such as Sony, Google and Intel have each considered similar moves but shelved them when it became clear that the media conglomerates that control the principal broadcast and cable networks do not want to risk alienating existing cable and satellite companies that depend on them for revenue. Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible told the Journal that Amazon may be able to offer an online-TV service “at cost” and make its money selling merchandise via the service. “There’s a precedent of them pricing stuff roughly at cost in order to sell other stuff,” he said. Meanwhile, on Tuesday Verizon announced that it plans to buy the intellectual property and assets of Intel Media, which has tried — and failed — to find a way to deliver TV over the Internet.