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Intel closing in on pay-TV service, company reports

General agreement with content providers on contours of proposed service supposedly reached, yet some issues remain up for negotiation.

Is there a television service in Intel's future?
Bloomberg posted an interesting tidbit this afternoon, suggesting that Intel is negotiating with a clutch of content providers in connection with a planned online pay-TV service. Given how we're talking about Intel -- yes, that Intel, chip king extraordinaire -- this would make for quite the headline, should it come to pass. Apparently, the sides have reached general agreement on the contours of the proposed service; although, some details remain unresolved.

The content suppliers named in the piece include Time Warner, NBC Universal, and Viacom. Sources tell Bloomberg that Intel is also about to open talks with News Corp., while discussions with Walt Disney Co. and CBS, the corporate parent of CNET, are "at a more preliminary stage."

For right now, there are more questions than answers, especially if this is part of Intel's strategy to help reduce its dependence on the personal computer market. But the content providers likely would welcome Intel's emergence as a rival to the current constellation of cable and satellite-TV systems.