Sony is close to striking a deal to stream live channels from Viacom for a new internet-based Over-the-Top TV service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The service would first become available on Sony’s PlayStation game consoles and some of its Bravia smart HDTVs and later on Sony-made tablets and phones. The deal would give Sony access to popular channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and others.
The Japanese company is also speaking to Time Warner, CBS and Disney about potential programming deals, the newspaper said.
Sony’s move follows attempts by other companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intel and Apple to offer OTT alteratives to traditional cable, IPTV, DTT and DTH platforms – but so far no one has cracked the case to offer a sustainable business model.
The Sony/Viacom agreement would not only offer on-demand content, but streaming channels as well – which would pose a bigger threat to the legacy platforms. until now, mainstream broadcasters have been reluctant to offer live streaming of their channels as they fear this would negatively impact their relation with their current distribution partners.
However, in some territories alternative OTT platforms are now starting up, such as Zattoo and Magine. These are independent of manufacturers, as such, Sony’s move is an industry-first.