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Sony developing online TV service - report

Sony developing online TV service - report

Fri 16 Aug 2013 10:38am GMT / 6:38am EDT / 3:38am PDT
Hardware

Service would be available on PS4, multi-channel deal with Viacom already agreed

Sony has reached an agreement with the the U.S. media giant Viacom to provide programming for a new online TV service.

According to a report in The New York Times, Viacom will let Sony carry its stable of channels on a new online TV service for phones, tablets and game hardware. This includes popular channels like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

The story first surfaced at The Wall Street Journal, but The New York Times has confirmed most of the important details through its own sources. Any deal with Viacom would be a breakthrough for the online TV concept, which is being developed by a number of huge companies - including Intel and Google - despite strong resistance from cable and satellite companies.

The deal with Viacom has not been finalised, but its completion will give Sony the momentum to get other programmers on-board. Indeed, Sony is in contact with a number of other companies, including the Walt Disney Company and Time Warner.

According to a media executive with knowledge of Sony's plans, the new service is expected to start selling in Q4 of this year or Q1 of 2014.

While the service is intended for a range of devices, the PlayStation 4 is likely to be a very important part of Sony's strategy. Microsoft, its main competitor in the console space, has made television a core aspect of its plans for Xbox One.

13 Comments

Pete Thompson
Owner / Admin

174 99 0.6
Whether we want a games console & TV services combined or not it seems that's what we're getting... I personally won't use it as strange as it may be I intend to use my next gen consoles for gaming.. :-)

Posted:A year ago

#1

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8
Film and TV are so big on console by raw numbers, execution of these services will be part of the success criteria. And as they grow, the more importance it gains.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 16th August 2013 10:00pm

Posted:A year ago

#2

Robert Barrow
Programming (AI), Web Development, Security (Pentesting, Recovery)

27 18 0.7
Popular Comment
We've kind of got used to the idea of streamed media being available on our consoles that it would be like a step backwards to not have it on the next gen. This is what MS should have been concentrating on rather than supporting a monolithic cable based services. If Sony pull off a full media service with Viacom, CBS etc, they will have killed the competitions biggest USP in one move.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,174 1,123 0.5
Interesting... I think Sony just walked in, laid this down and dropped the mic on Microsoft's own TV plans. I actually like that they're not mandating it (yet) and made this announcement in a not really intrusive manner. Granted, I won't be using this new service, but this is getting enjoyable to watch unfold...

Posted:A year ago

#4

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

921 1,374 1.5
Microsoft has been working on similiar tv deals for years so Sony probably figured it's better to give them one less bullet point on the back of their box. Now we just need Nintendo to announce a similiar deal and I fully expect it to be made on April 1st.
Film and TV are so big on console by raw numbers, execution of these services will be part of the success criteria.
Agreed. Right now there are 10 people online from my XBL friends list. Seven are watching Netflix and one is watching Hula Plus. One is playing a game and the other is sitting at the dashboard. This is far from an unusual situation. Almost during anytime of the day half my active friends list is busy watching or listening to a TV/video/music App as opposed to just playing games. Thats why I understood Microsoft's big insistence on TV during their reveal, although they should have saved it for a later announcement.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8
Thats why I understood Microsoft's big insistence on TV during their reveal, although they should have saved it for a later announcement.
Same here, on both points.

Couldn't help but give a mild rebuke to those saying no-one cares about multi-media and TV though around the announcement. The idea that only the games matter on a modern console is a deeply mis-informed one. Its really the users of those very consoles that are proving otherwise.

The Microsoft announcement was definitely the wrong place and wrong time to bang on about voice activation and connecting your cable box for sure. It should have been an opportunity to introduce a bit of everything about the new system.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 17th August 2013 12:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Yiannis Koumoutzelis
Founder & Creative Director

362 207 0.6
It's articles like these or rather the comments that follow that make me admire the maturity, objectivity and professionalism of this online developer community! Bravo! Way to go Sony! What amazing news indeed!

Posted:A year ago

#7

Rogier Voet
Editor / Content Manager

71 31 0.4
If TV is that important why did none of the console makers just support smartcards (which almost all television providers use). And make deals with television providers to sponsor a console which can truly replace the DVR we have now?

Posted:A year ago

#8

Shehzaan Abdulla
Translator

98 206 2.1
The question isn't whether people use these services, it's whether the services alone are compelling enough to sway a purchase. Almost everyone I know is logged onto Facebook on their phone or laptop but you would be hard pressed to find people who bought the hardware for those reasons.

I think the next-generation, more than any before it will not be fought along hardware lines, or even software (the 3rd party exclusive is dead at this point) but services (Netflix, XBLA etc).

Posted:A year ago

#9

Shehzaan Abdulla
Translator

98 206 2.1
As far as I can tell it is easier to incentivise and monetise a service than a piece of hardware (that the competition would also have).

Posted:A year ago

#10

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,019 1,467 1.4
@ Shehzaan I definitely disagree. I think most people bought their iPhones for Facebook, web browsing, music, etc. Games are probably 10th on the list of features most people care about when buying a smartphone. Consoles would love that audience, but I doubt they'll ever really draw them in.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Shehzaan Abdulla
Translator

98 206 2.1
@Nicholas Although people are interested in the that functionality it is in no way the swaying factor in making a purchase decision as Facebook access is effectively universal at this point. You would have little reason to opt for an iPhone over an Android handset if your main consideration was something like Facebook.

Offering that kind of functionality is an exercise in reducing loss of sales; I highly doubt people care about whether their phone can use Facebook because it is taken for granted that it will. It's not a selling point. Not being able to use Facebook however? That's a strike against.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 19th August 2013 1:10pm

Posted:A year ago

#12

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,165 948 0.8
deals with television providers to sponsor a console which can truly replace the DVR we have now?
Well, that could be a huge missed opportunity for this generation of consoles. Though, its still possible.

Posted:A year ago

#13

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