Verizon Wants Brands to Sponsor Your TV Watching

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When Verizon finalized its acquisition of AOL earlier this week, the company let slip more details on its long-gestating internet TV service, which it hopes will rival the likes of Sling TV and Playstation Vue.

Perhaps most intriguing, the new info includes the fact that Verizon wants advertisers to foot the bill for the service. You see, Verizon wants to primarily distribute the new TV service over the air via Verizon Wireless, but as we all know, streaming video requires a lot of data.

Instead of eating the cost or inflating your smartphone bill, Verizon has opted to pass those costs along to advertisers. But before you cry foul about net neutrality, Ad Age notes that this arrangement does comply with the FCC's new net neutrality rules, which allow for sponsored data.

The arrangement complies with the FCC's new net neutrality rules, which allow for sponsored data.

AT&T already allows advertisers to sponsor access to certain apps and websites on its wireless service, so it was only a matter of time before Verizon and other carriers joined the party.

In a way, Verizon's new arrangement harkens back to the days when over-the-air broadcast TV was the norm. Back then, viewers didn't have to pay a cent to watch TV, since the distribution costs were covered by ad revenue. It was only once cable TV came on the scene that viewers had to pony up for the privilege of watching ads.

For the moment, its unclear whether these sponsorships will cover the entire cost of Verizon's service or just the extra data charges. Verizon will also reportedly have "premium offerings," but it's unclear what these will entail, or how much they will cost.

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Regardless, the internet TV service should make for an interesting competitor to the likes of Sling TV and Playstation Vue, as it will include live and on-demand content, as well as online "channels" like AwesomenessTV. The service is set to make its debut later this summer.

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