Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sony Considers Internet Rival to Cable TV

Sony Corp. is considering launching an Internet-based alternative to cable-TV service, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company apparently has approached several big media companies that own TV channels to negotiate the rights to offer TV channels over the Web to U.S. consumers, the people say.

But what Sony wants to purchase is rights to a selected number of core channels that would allow Sony to sell the package at less cost than s typical cable TV, satellite or telco video subscription.

It isn't clear how much chance Sony will have to get the programming it wants. Content owners, particularly the networks, have been unwilling to license channels on terms less favorable than what now is the case for cable, telco and satellite providers. 

It seems unlikely that networks will want to jeopardize their substantial legacy revenue streams even to pick up one additional distributor such as Sony. 

Sony also wants to distribute only to Sony-made devices including PlayStation gaming consoles, television sets and Blu-ray players.

Sony has sold approximately 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S., according to the latest data from tracker NPD Group Inc., and many homes have other Internet-connected Sony devices as well.

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