Sony and Viacom have reportedly reached a deal that will allow the Japanese company to expand its paid TV service by adding fan-favorite channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Sony has been working on a streaming video service in order to rival cable, satellites and on-demand services. The new deal with Viacom could help move this deal along. The hope is to provide its users of products like Sony TVs and the PlayStation 3 and 4 with a way to watch cable networks in the same way users can currently stream services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, according to the New York Times.
In order for Sony to get an idea like this off the ground, it requires the permission of cable companies like Viacom in order to user its channels to stream. The new deal is a huge step in the right direction for the company if it wishes to compete on the emerging cable streaming market that is currently dominated by services like Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast, although Sony's idea would be a little different from these services as it will allow users to watch live cable channels. The company is hoping to roll out the service sometime in early 2014.
According to PCMag and Digital Trends, the details of the deal are not yet known. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal citing people familiar with the matter. Sony, meanwhile has reportedly been in talks with other cable owners such as Time Warner, Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp.
Sony will likely need all of these companies on board before it can provide its users with a service capable of being a viable enough option for them to ditch their current cable provider and rely on Sony's streaming service. One thing that isn't quite clear will be how these ratings will factor into the Neilsen ratings system, which historically has difficulty counting streaming views.