Sony CEO Howard Stringer recently revealed the company’s intentions to launch a revolutionary new television before Apple, and according to The Wall Street Journal, it will be a web-based alternative to the traditional set that will allow users to avoid the cable companies.
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 is reportedly approaching a number of content providers hoping to seal deals for its new service, including Comcast, Discovery, NBC Universal, and News Corp. However, it may not be so easy to get them all on board:
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.
Apple learned this wasn’t an easy feat several years ago, when the Cupertino company attempted to create a “best of TV” package for iTunes users that would only feature the most popular shows. As you’ll know if you’re a regular iTunes store shopper, that package never arrived.
As Sony’s CEO revealed, its new TV was built specifically to compete with a rumored Apple television, expected to launch in 2013, featuring Siri integration. Stringer also stated his desire to have Sony’s product on the market long before Apple’s.