Sure to worry cable and satellite operators, Sony is reportedly considering a Web-based content service of its own. Citing sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony has already approached several “big media companies” to negotiate the rights to offer their TV channels over the Web in the United States. Sources add that Sony plans to beam the channels over Web connections to Sony-made devices, including PlayStation gaming consoles, TV sets and Blu-ray players.
What size threat could the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant pose to the U.S. cable business? Well, Comcast -- the biggest U.S. cable operator -- has about 22.4 million video subscribers and serves a geographic area with over 52 million homes, while Sony has sold about 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S. alone, citing data from NPD Group Inc.
In what sounds like an awkward conversation, Sony reportedly approached Comcast's NBCUniversal, along with Discovery Communications, and News Corp. According to sources, WSJ adds: “One stumbling block could be Sony's desire to license a smaller bundle of channels than existing cable operators offer to undercut the incumbents on price and flexibility.”