Sony Looking to Cut Out Cable Providers with Web-Based TV Service

Last week, we noted that Sony was working hard on efforts to change the way users interact with and view content on their television sets, with CEO Howard Stringer openly acknowledging that the company was trying to find a way to compete with Apple's integrated ecosystem that is expected to expand to include television sets in the relatively near future.

sony logo
The Wall Street Journal now reports that Sony is working on the next phase of its efforts, seeking to launch a Web-based alternative to traditional TV that would skirt around cable companies' control of the market.

Sony is proposing to beam the channels over Internet connections to Sony-made devices, including PlayStation gaming consoles, TV sets and Blu-ray players, the people said. Sony has sold about 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S. alone, according to NPD Group Inc., and many homes have other Internet-connected Sony devices.

Sony has reportedly reached out to a number of content providers, including Comcast NBCUniversal, Discovery, and News Corp., in attempt to strike deals to offer their shows on the service.

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, according to people familiar with the matter. That could be a nonstarter for media companies, which would prefer not to undercut their biggest customers.

The report notes that Apple made a similar effort several years ago, seeking to put together a "best of TV" package for delivery to viewers via iTunes, but those negotiations failed to produce a deal after content providers refused to budge on their demands for bundling channels together.

Apple clearly remains interested in the television market, with rumors of a Siri-enabled TV set launching in late 2012 or early 2013. It is not entirely clear what efforts Apple may continue to pursue on the content side of the TV market to complement the hardware and software, but just two months ago the company was said to have developed a "new technology to deliver video to televisions". As part of that work, the company was said to still have an interest in offering some sort of subscription TV packages.

Top Rated Comments

sammaffei Avatar
125 months ago
This all falls flat on it's face...

...when your service provider limits your data to 250Gb a month. TV via the web will easy hit that cap when someone in your house has the set on most of the day.

The cable company still controls the pipe.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emvath Avatar
125 months ago
Someone needs to find a way to give us what we all want. Ala carte TV. I only want like 4-5 different channels total.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
125 months ago
It comes to light that Steve Jobs has "cracked" the problem and has a plan to cut out the middlemen with an Apple-like user experience to boot, and then wouldn't ya know it, these other guys pop up (some of them who can barely manage their core business, never mind build a viable, competing ecosystem) and say "What a coincidence! We've been working on the same thing of years now!"

Of course they have. LOL[COLOR="#808080"]


So they copied something Apple hasn't even done yet? I suppose you think they read the Job's biography and came up with this idea? :rolleyes:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
125 months ago
It comes to light that Steve Jobs has "cracked" the problem and has a plan to cut out the middlemen with an Apple-like user experience to boot, and then wouldn't ya know it, these other guys pop up (some of them who can barely manage their core business, never mind build a viable, competing ecosystem) and say "What a coincidence! We've been working on the same thing of years now!"

Of course they have. LOL[COLOR="#808080"]

As if Steve Jobs was the only person who has been trying to break the Cable conundrum. Oh PLEASE LTD - get a reality check.

And it shouldn't be ANY surprise that Sony or any other TV MANUFACTURER would naturally be thinking in this direction.

It's not only possible -but very logical - that since Steve's bio came out and it was mentioned that Steve "cracked" the TV issue (which details are non existent) Sony wanted to let the world know that it's been something they've been working on for years. The press window opened up.

It's called positioning. Sony might have originally wanted to keep their work quiet and launch with a boom when they were ready - but since Jobs bio came out - they entered the media fray. There's nothing wrong or surprising about that.

Why?

Because if they hadn't - you'd still be arguing in 2-3 years when Sony came out with their product that they copied Apple. Or that they only started to work on the product BECAUSE it was known Apple was working on it to.

So again - LTD - you intentionally set up a no-win scenario for anyone other than Apple.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
voltes Avatar
125 months ago
That's the problem when you have a monopoly on cable television per city. I wish there was other choices so prices can be competitive. We get suckered to pay a lot since we have no choice.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
something3153 Avatar
125 months ago
Interesting point. If they can't even mange their own network (especially in light of what's happened over the past 6-7 months), then how will essentially the same crew manage something as ambitious as what they're proposing? They can't even get their TVs to sell.

Apple, I can see having a solid, workable plan that is already halfway there thanks to the successful ecosystem already in place and their experience with building exceptional hardware, added to that their obsession with getting major initiatives right the first time, out the door. Sony, I can't. even if they manage the content aspect, they'll have absolutely nothing at all on Apple when it comes to slick delivery.

You mean like all the issues with Siri? How can Apple manage something as ambitious as what they're proposing if they can't even manage their own network? :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...