In a departure for the chip giant, Intel is planning to become a "virtual cable operator," with a service that would offer consumers a bundle of TV channels delivered over the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Intel has engaged in discussions with media companies on the service, which could launch before the end of 2012, according to the Journal, citing unidentified "people familiar with the effort."
Intel declined to comment on the Journal's report.
The entry of Intel -- with its large bankroll -- into over-the-top video would add another potentially serious competitor to traditional pay-TV services, as consumers face a growing number of options for receiving video content over broadband from the likes of Netflix, Apple, Amazon.com and others.
Intel is developing its own set-top box to deliver the Internet-video service, and it might brand service with its own name, "in at least some scenarios under consideration," the newspaper reported.
The chip company has even requested "rate cards" for particular channels and on-demand programming although it does not yet appear to have struck programming deals, according to the Journal.
Intel previously had been a key partner for Google's TV initiative, producing high-performance microprocessors that powered the Google TV software platform. But last year, after Google TV failed to get broad traction, Intel phased out that effort.