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Sony and Viacom Finalizing TV Service Deal, Report Says (Updated: Sony Internet TV Service News)

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony and Viacom finalizing internet TV service deal, report says | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Nathan Olivarez-Giles - August 15, 2013

    Sony has reportedly reached a preliminary deal with Viacom to bring its cable channels to a new internet TV service its working to launch before the end of the year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the licensing deal would give Sony access to some of the most popular cable TV channels available - Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Spike. Sony's planned service would pit the entertainment and consumer tech giant squarely against cable TV providers, as well Intel and Google, who are racing to build out internet TV services of their own.


    A RIVAL TO CABLE TV, INTEL, GOOGLE


    Sony's plan is to offer an internet TV service that streams channels that are traditionally only available through cable and satellite TV providers, as well as on-demand shows and movies, the Journal report said. Sony currently offers some TV shows and films on-demand through its PlayStation gaming console. According to the report, the internet TV service could make its debut on a PlayStation - the new PlayStation 4 will be on sale before the end of the year - and the Sony's Bravia line of TVs. "People who have seen demonstrations" of Sony's TV service told the Journal that it will make recommendations based on what shows and movies subscribers have watched.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  2. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's where the new dongle is targeted? At least for people who don't want to buy PS4's....
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thought. However if that was the case IMO Sony would not have named the new dongle with the GTV lingo (NSZ-GU1). I would think Sony would give it an entirely different lingo (as the model number). IMO the fact that the new Sony dongle model # mimics previous GTV model numbers - hints that the odds favor it is a GTV/Chromecast device.

    One would have to wonder though - provided that Sony's new TV platform does get off the ground - what are the implications for their future relationship with GTV? IMO it just became more tenuous.....

    I remember that before Sony bought the Gakai gaming service - they intended to have native OnLive gaming support directly built into their GTV boxes. All of that changed after they bought competing gaming service Gakai though - as then Sony subsequently nixed their planned native OnLive app on their GTV devices.....

    The point being that Sony's own TV service will be their top priority - and if they perceive that GTV will compete against and hurt the bottom line of their own TV service - it's hard for me to imagine Sony continuing their GTV partnership with new GTV hardware devices. I believe the NSZ-GU1 was conceived before Sony struck this recent deal with Viacom.

    One longshot possibility is that Sony would put out a TV box that combines their own TV service with GTV. But IMO that is not likely.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/b...om-reach-tentative-internet-tv-deal.html?_r=0 (click for full article)

    Sony and Viacom Reach Tentative Deal to Stream Cable Channels

    By BRIAN STELTER
    Published: August 15, 2013


    In a deal that may signal the start of a new era of competition for entrenched cable and satellite providers, Viacom has tentatively agreed to let its popular cable channels - like Nickelodeon and MTV - be carried by an Internet TV service that Sony is creating.

    The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind between a major programmer and any of the technology giants that are trying to disrupt traditional modes of TV delivery. If other programmers follow suit, Sony's as-yet-unnamed service would let paying subscribers receive live cable channels the same way they use on-demand libraries like Netflix or Hulu. Intel and Google are working on similar services, but try to make it more user-friendly, perhaps the way Netflix does with personalization features and a fancy interface.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony, Viacom Agree to First Web TV Deal - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD (click for full article)

    Viacom-Sony TV Is a Big Deal. It's Also the Same Deal We Already Have.

    by Peter Kafka - August 15, 2013

    Viacom's deal to deliver its cable TV shows to a new Web video service from Sony isn't final.

    But it is a big deal: As the Wall Street Journal first reported today, this is the first time a major programmer has agreed, in principle, to sell a "linear" feed of its shows to the Web.

    That is, subscribers for a yet-to-launch Sony TV service would get Viacom's shows at the same time they get delivered to Comcast, or DirecTV, or Verizon Fios subscribers.

    Viacom's agreement - or potential agreement - will make it easier for other programmers to step out and make their own agreements. That's also big.

    So for argument's sake, let's say Viacom and several other big programmers sign on, for real, and Sony launches sooner than later.
    Here's the key question: Are those guys going to sell their stuff to Sony in a way that differs materially from the way they're selling their stuff to traditional pay TV operators?

    I haven't been able to get confirmation on this. But I do have an educated guess: No.

    Which means that if Sony (or any other "over the top" Web service, like Intel) launches, it's going to sell TV the way you buy TV right now - a bundle of channels, at one price, which will be very close to the price those bundles cost everywhere else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If this service launches, do we know it won't be available on Google TV? It seems likely to me it would be, if not, where are the devices to play the service? If it going to be Sony smart TVs and the PS4 only, I can't imagine a big market anytime soon.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google is said to be also working on a live TV service. We don't even know for sure if Google would put their own live TV service on GTV (although it certainly would seem to make sense for a Google live TV service to be available on GTV).

    I would say that if Google wasn't also working on their own live TV service - the odds would be a bit greater that they would allow Sony to combine their live TV service with GTV. If Google is close to launching their own live TV service - than obviously it wouldn't make much sense to put Sony's live TV service on GTV.

    And as the AllThingsD article mentioned - this Sony-Viacom deal will pave the way for more deals between other companies with their own over-the-top IPTV TV service aspirations (Google, Intel) - and their dealings with the content providers.

    Sony is in the hardware business - I'm sure they could easily make a dongle/box for their own service if they choose to. Sony could also make their live TV service part of their "Sony Entertainment Network" - and then inclusion in GTV would be more likely. (Providing there would be no licensing issues restricting the live TV service on GTV - and Google/Sony both decide it's in their own best interest).
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony Grabs Lead in Race for Web-Based Pay TV - WSJ.com (click for full article)

    From the article:

    "Sony's service offers some appealing aspects for content companies, said people who have seen it demonstrated.

    The service includes a feature that recommends TV shows for customers to watch. Content providers are allowed to supply some of those recommendations, so they can steer viewers who watch their shows to other programming on their channels, according to the people familiar with the matter. Sony will provide other content suggestions for viewers based on an algorithm.

    Sony's interface is highly graphic and easy to use, in contrast to the clunkier programming guides some conventional distributors offer, the people said."


    And also this:


    "Sony has long been a film-and-television company: its TV studio produces popular shows including "Breaking Bad" for AMC Networks Inc.'s and "Justified" for 21st Century Fox's FX. But the online-video venture is being led by the part of the company responsible for the PlayStation console.

    While the service is expected to be available initially via PlayStation, as well as the company's Bravia high-definition TVs, Sony plans to extend it to other Sony devices, including tablets and smartphones, the person said.

    Media executives said that the PlayStation line gives Sony an advantage over competing services, because the gaming device has a large installed base of users, including many younger consumers that TV networks are eager to target.

    Sony has sold more than 24.4 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S. alone, according to NPD Group Inc., and many households own other Internet-connected Sony electronics.

    Sony offers "a degree of access and connection" with customers that may not be paying for traditional television, one entertainment executive said."
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    What Sony?s internet TV deal with Viacom means for your living room | The Verge (click for Full article)

    by Casey Newton - August 16, 2013

    From the article:

    "THE BIG FOUR BROADCAST NETWORKS WILL BE THE LAST TO GO THIS DIRECTION."

    But what if Sony wanted to, say, sign a deal with NBC Universal? NBC is owned by Comcast, which has little incentive to give anyone a reason to ditch its cable operator. Any partnership with Sony seems unlikely at best. "Comcast will only take that call if they see sufficient momentum from other content providers that they feel like they have to start moving that direction," Nail said. "Clearly, the big four broadcast networks will be the last to go this direction. It will take an awful lot of other movement for them to reach a point where they say, 'We have no choice any more.'"


    At the same time, Nail said, the Viacom agreement is significant because it shows programmers being more flexible about where and how they deliver video to their customers. "The traditional television business has held back technology-driven change for at least a decade, probably longer," he said. "But this to me signals they can no longer just dig their heels in and say 'no.' The technology, and the consumer behavior enabled by that technology, are reaching that flood crest where the dam finally breaks."
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  10. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    To break the dam of the "great unbundling," it'd probably take an industry "maverick," Netflix, or Netflix-like company to do it. And they'd have to win a lawsuit (or by congressional regulation-legislation) where the content providers (CBS, NBC, CBS, fox, cable companies etc.) can't blacklist them from entering the market and, most importantly, can't by-contract stipulate that they can't offer a "pick-your-own-channels" format. The price for "buying" the content would also have to be addressed, as the content providers could ask for a prohibitively high price from a "outsider-start-up" company for the rights to carry their content channels on the internet.

    Right now, all concerned (the content providers as well as Intel, Google, Sony and Apple) are all effectively a media cabal of fixed prices with consumer-squeezing bundling.

    It's a "free market"/competition issue, with a certain anti-trust aspect developing. The cable companies have gotten away with this price gouging for decades now, because the government is supposed to regulate the prices of these "regional/municipal cable monopolies." Obviously, this hasn't happened and was corrupted in favor of the cable companies from the very beginning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony, Viacom Internet TV Deal May Start Usage-Based Pricing Wave - Investors.com (click for full article)

    by Reinhardt Krause - August 16, 2013

    Sony's (SNE) expected Internet TV deal with Viacom (VIA) is the first of a likely wave of deals that will pressure cable TV system operators to evolve their business models toward usage-priced broadband services, but regulators hold the key, says Moffett Research.

    Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technolog...le-with-viacom-content-deal.htm#ixzz2cEfzantc
    Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
     
  12. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Bottom line I think most people are excited about the prospect of live internet TV because they think they can save a boat-load of money compared to standard cable TV subscriptions. This doesn't seem likely - at least not anytime soon. As the articles mention "unbundling" with pick & choose ala carte channels is unlikely - and the internet bundles will be priced about the same as regular cable TV bundles.

    Also as the article mentions - live internet TV could quite possibly equate to higher charges for broadband use.

    Another drawback IMO is that TV over the internet won't quite be as 'stable' video quality-wise as traditional cable - by that I mean Wi-Fi issues, modem issues, etc causing occasional video dropouts.

    So the only big positives are 1) one less box (no cable box required) 2) 'Supposedly' these companies like Google, Intel, Apple, & Sony offer a superior "interface" compared to cable operators. While this is generally true - the cable companies are catching up in that regard and offering improved interfaces/discovery features. Comcast has their new X2 box which is very good, and Cox has a new solution also. To me personally the interface is not a big deal - I just like a basic program guide/listing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  13. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    As you know, piracy also hangs over the whole topic as well. If reasonable alternatives aren't offered, then even people willing to pay are going to pirate the media. A higher charge for broadband to enable a lower charge for TV services may encourage some to keep their TV packages, but it might also may make 3rd party ISPs viable once again.
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony announces cloud-based TV service with live TV, DVR, and video on demand | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Dieter Bohn - Jan. 7, 2014

    -- We were expecting Sony to launch something like PlayStation Now, which is cloud-based streaming for games. But Sony seems to have larger ambitions, launching a TV service that will provide live television, video on demand, and even DVR in the cloud.

    It will offer universal search "across live and on-demand video content" - letting you just keep your content in Sony's cloud and use it across all of your Sony gadgets - in fact, the company says it will work on 70 million Sony devices. That presumably includes the PS4, PS3, Vita, smart TVs, and Android devices. It's not clear at all what Sony means by "live TV" yet - building an all-in-one service like this is fraught with complications with studios, cable companies, and has been a big target for lawsuits.

    Sony already offered video on demand service, so it's not a complete shock for it to grow it into more, but this sounds a bit more ambitious than what you'd think. The DVR in the cloud is particularly interesting, and it fills out the Sony Entertainment Network in a big way.

    Sony's online offering had long been a sore spot for customers, but here at CES it certainly looks like it's beginning to fill out nicely. If Sony can pull off this TV in the cloud service - which begins testing later this year - the company's ecosystem of devices and services may finally cohere into the "One Sony" vision that CEO Kaz Hirai has been pushing for.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  15. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony CEO Kaz Hirai says cloud TV won't compete with cable, 4K adoption could take seven years | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Joshua Topolsky - Jan. 7, 2014

    -- At a sit-down with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, the company head spoke on the new products and services announced at CES 2014, some of which were just introduced today. One of the more interesting developments on center stage was the announcement of a new streaming cloud TV service that could be Sony's first real initiative to take on the living room in a cohesive manner.


    Hirai was tight-lipped when discussing the service's features or Sony's partnerships, but he was quick to defend against the notion that Sony's cloud TV would be running up against cable providers. "We're not trying to compete with the cable operators - we're trying to resolve one of the biggest hurdles, which is watching live TV and streaming content on different devices." However, he did note that on live TV broadcasts, there was a chance for friction. "Everybody's been talking about it, I don't think anyone has been able to do it," Hirai said, describing a system that could, when all is said and done, look a little something like what Microsoft is trying to do with the Xbox One.


    Read more at: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/7/52...-cloud-tv-wont-compete-with-cable-4k-adoption
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  16. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony announces PlayStation Now, its cloud gaming service for TVs, consoles, and phones | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Sean Hollister - Jan. 7, 2014

    -- The PlayStation 4 may not be the most important part of Sony's gaming strategy anymore. At CES 2014, Sony has just announced PlayStation Now, a service that will bring streaming PlayStation games not only to PS4, but also PS3, PlayStation Vita, and even televisions, tablets, and smartphones.


    It's the company's public-facing brand for Gaikai, the cloud gaming technology it purchased in June of 2012, which the company previously said would bring PS3 games to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita later this year. Sony says the technology is already working here at CES, with attendees able to try critically acclaimed action title The Last of Us here in Vegas. The full service will let users rent games or pay for a subscription that will let them "explore a range of titles." Sony will launch a closed beta in the United States at the end of the month, and plans to roll out the service more broadly by the end of this summer.


    "The tethers that have constrained consumption for decades... soon dissolve," said Sony CEO Kaz Hirai.


    Read more at: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/7/5284294/sony-announces-playstation-now-cloud-gaming
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  17. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    PlayStation Now hands-on: you'll never think of gaming the same way again | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Chris Welch - Jan. 7, 2014

    -- Sony has finally spilled the details on its Gaikai-powered streaming service PlayStation Now, and we wasted no time in giving it a try.

    PlayStation Now lets owners of Sony hardware (including PS4, PS3, Vita, and Bravia TVs) stream some of the company's greatest games - all from the cloud.

    The demo at Sony's CES show booth features four titles, including The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Beyond: Two Souls, and Puppeteer. All running on a Bravia HDTV, and all running without a PlayStation 3 anywhere in sight.

    For our demo, we first booted up God of War. The game's loading time left a bit to be desired, but once it was running, things went on without a hitch. Yes, there's a slightly perceptible lag between button presses and the corresponding action onscreen, but we still managed to slay numerous enemies in God of War's brutal style without it being a problem.


    Read more at: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/7/5284730/playstation-now-hands-on


    Playstation Now hands-on:
     
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  18. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sony signs up Viacom for internet TV service, but at what cost? — Tech News and Analysis (click for full article)

    by Janko Roettgers - Sept. 10. 2014

    SUMMARY: Sony’s internet TV service will carry Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, along with Palladia, BET Gospel and anything else Viacom has come up with over the last couple of years.

    -- Sony’s upcoming internet TV service got its first major content injection Wednesday, with Sony announcing that it has struck a deal to add 22 networks from Viacom to the service’s channel lineup. The deal will also give Sony TV subscribers access to Viacom’s TV Everywhere apps and video-on-demand services.

    This is the first time that Viacom has struck a deal with an internet-based TV service for its content, which will include networks like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Spike, but also lesser-known networks like VH1 Soul, BET Gospel and Palladia.

    In other words: Sony got the whole package — and that may be a problem: As companies like Sony and Dish prepare to launch internet-based TV services, they’re struggling to figure out how to differentiate themselves from traditional pay TV, which younger viewers are fleeing because of high costs and inflexible channel bundles.

    See more at: Sony signs up Viacom for internet TV service, but at what cost? — Tech News and Analysis
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  19. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    The only way that'll work is for Sony to charge $8/mo (like Netflix) for all 22 channels, which they won't. These thieves never stop.
     
  20. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    That is so silly. Thieves? Whatever Sony decides to charge nobody will have to buy it and unless I am missing something, nobody will unless it is worth the price to them. What an idiotic concept, a company is stealing by offering a service if the consumer decides to buy it.
     

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