If such a deal is in fact struck it would be the first of its kind in what could quickly become a major revenue source for TV programmers as other companies with plans to enter the Internet TV business enter the bidding. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) spring immediately to mind.
Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and other program producers like The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and the broadcast networks have been unwilling to license their programming to these “over-the-top” services, fearing that they’ll undermine the lucrative deals they have with cable and satellite carriers.
Intel has said it wants to launch a service by the end of this year, and a WSJ source said that Sony is hoping to launch its service in the same time frame. Sony’s over-the-top service is expected to be available on the company’s new PlayStation 4 gaming console, which is due out in time for this year’s holiday shopping season.