November 16, 2011
Is Sony Jumping Into The Internet TV Race?
Electronics and entertainment giant Sony has quietly approached Comcast´s NBCUniversal, Discovery Communications, and News Corp., among others, with their ideas for distributing content over the internet to the Sony PlayStation 3 and other TV-connected devices, CNET´s Steven Musil is reporting.
Sony is just the latest consumer-electronic company with big ideas of being a virtual Multiple System Operator (MSO). Microsoft and Apple have similarly explored strategies for the same, although as far as we know, no concrete plans have been inked as of yet.
Between the Sony Playstation Store, Blu-ray players and internet-connected TVs, Sony has hardware in place already and can easily be serving up its own library of TV and film offerings and does so now with its Crackle service, a digital-only network that blends its catalog with original programming.
Media studios are dragging their feet and reluctant to offer Sony a slimmed down selection of channels for its service. Currently cable and satellite providers pay handsomely for bundles and are not excited about higher pricing from licensing a smaller set, Chris Davies of Slashgear reports.
Apple was apparently stopped from launching a web-based “Best of TV” early last year using the Apple TV as a receiver. However Sony could bypass the big networks altogether, and opt instead to build out its US-wide service.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer announced this week that Sony had a “tremendous amount of research and development going into a different kind of TV set.” Distinguishing its TVs from the field could help bolster Sony´s television sales, which drains earnings, as Sony losing money on every set it sells.
Stringer promises a “four screen” strategy to compete with the expected Apple television powered by Siri voice controls, pulling together Sony´s PC, TV, tablet and phone businesses to deliver a joined-up entertainment platform.
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