Verizon taking on Netflix with online video service

Verizon may be preparing to launch an online video streaming service next year that will rival similar services like Netflix and Hulu as well as traditional cable providers. Citing sources familiar with the situation, Reuters reported today that the service will be rolled out to markets that do not currently have Verizon's FiOS cable offering.

Although the details are still unclear, Reuters' sources claim that the service is expected to have a narrow scope of offerings, focused mainly on a package of movies similar to Liberty Media's Starz Play and Viacom's Epix or children's programming such as from partners Walt Disney or Viacom.

Verizon has been wanting to explore providing a service to those customers seeking to "cut the cord" from traditional cable services and is said to have been in discussion with program providers over the last two years.

However, the move could impact both Verizon's current relationships with cable TV partners such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, as its service may directly compete. Similarly, program providers may also risk their existing relationships with the cable operators.