In a bid to reinvent the way we watch TV, Sony is looking to bring internet-based TV channels directly into American homes through their Playstation consoles, Blu-Ray video players, and television sets.
The company already offers online movie rentals through their internet-enabled Playstations and the more expensive televisions, and now they are hoping to expand that service to include live content. If successful, Sony's plan could rival cable and satellite providers' entrenched position in the $30 billion market.
Although Sony owns a movie studio and television production company, it does not own any of the actual distribution channels. So recently, Sony has reached out to NBC Universal, Discovery Communications, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation (Fox) to inquire about obtaining their content to stream online through Sony devices.
The challenge is that media companies who own the rights to these channels want to sell over all of it in a bundle like they do to cable and satellite providers, but Sony wants to work out a more tailored plan so that subscribers have more freedom to pick and choose which channels they want.
Last week Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, revealed that his company was also hard at work on developing the next-generation Sony television. "We can't continue selling TV sets the way we have been. Every TV set we all make loses money," Stringer told the WSJ as he explained another quarter of losses. The new Sony TV is set to be thinner, 3D-enabled, and following the "four screens strategy" – a seamless integration between TV, tablet, smartphone, and PC.
"I spent the last five years building a platform so I can compete against Steve Jobs," Stringer concluded. "It's finished, and it's launching now."