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Sony has reached a preliminary agreement with media giant Viacom that would allow them to distribute Viacom's cable channels over select Internet-connected devices sold by the Japanese multinational conglomerate. Viacom operates a number of popular channels including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, just to name a few.
The Wall Street Journal claims the deal would allow Sony to stream regular cable channels as well as on-demand content over their planned Internet-based TV service, putting the company in direct competition with cable, satellite and telecommunications providers. It's a market that could soon be red-hot as others like Apple, Intel and Google are all pursuing similar offerings.
A person familiar with the deal told the Journal that Sony must still work to finalize terms of the deal. The company has also reportedly spoken with CBS Corp., Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. over similar deals. How far along those talks are, however, is unknown at this time.
Big entertainment companies like Viacom have thus far been reluctant to cut deals with over-the-top services. They're afraid of disrupting traditional delivery methods through pay-TV operators primarily because there is a fortune tied up in those deals.
Like Intel, Sony is hoping to launch their service by the end of the year. It could very well debut alongside the public release of Sony's PlayStation 4 console and would run on the new game system as well as Bravia HDTVs. The ultimate goal would see the service available through a multitude of other Sony gadgets including smartphones and tablets, we're told.