Sony and Viacom are almost ready to strike a deal to provide a new Internet-based television service.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Sony is working with the media company to iron out the details of a potential deal to launch a service which streams live television online. While Sony is creating the platform itself, the firm is in discussion with Viacom to procure content for consumers.
Viacom provides channels to consumers including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
According to reports, Sony is also speaking to Time Warner, CBS and Disney over potential programming deals.
Rival firms including Google and Intel are also exploring the possibilities of Internet-based television services. More consumers are going online for media, and often expect on-demand features, using companies including Netflix rather than signing up for high monthly subscription packages. As a result, the traditional, subscription-based model has come under fire -- paving the way for technology companies to tap into additional revenue streams.
By signing up even one content provider to such a service, this will signal a change in the industry itself -- as traditional broadcasts dig in their heels for fear of undercutting or losing lucrative deals with cable and satellite companies.
Citing an anonymous source, the publication says that the Japanese company aims to roll out the streaming service out by the end of the year. Considering tech company pushes to connect devices and services, the platform is expected to be available on the new Playstation 4, high-definition television sets and Sony-branded mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.