Leaked Sony emails reveal Comcast's leeriness of PlayStation Vue

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) was so concerned last year about the pending launch of PlayStation Vue that it refused to do any kind of business with Sony. That included the launch of the Xfinity 4K pay-TV service, which ended up launching exclusively on Samsung TVs.

That's the upshot of emails leaked amid the hacking scandal that crippled Sony Picture late last year. The emails were published last week on WikiLeaks.

In one February email subject-lined "Comcast difficulties," Sony executive Jonathan Pearl, executive VP of legal compliance, said the two companies had discussed placing the Xfinity TV app on Sony TVs. But Comcast balked, citing concern over an initiative referred to at the time as "SEN TV." That service, an over-the-top pay-TV service, would later be rechristened PlayStation Vue and launched in select markets last month.

"Currently, Comcast is telling [Sony Electronics] they will not have further discussions about Xfinity unless we 'explain' Sony's plans for SEN TV, because '... SEN TV may compete with Comcast,'" the email said.

In that email, Pearl says he's hopeful that the distrust can be "smoothed out." And in a response, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton describes the impasses as "resolvable."

As Pearl outlined, Sony COO Phil Molyneaux had met with Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit in 2013 to discuss putting the Xfinity app on Sony 4K TVs. Ultimately, Comcast launched its 4K programming service late last year with Samsung as its exclusive CE partner.

Comcast has not commented, nor has Sony, which said it won't discuss matters related to stolen property (i.e. its emails).

For more
- read this International Business Times story

Special report: OTT's early impact: 6 rules for monetizing next-gen pay-TV business models

Related links:
Hastings downplays HBO competition; Sling TV, Sony Vue now the real threats
Comcast's new spinoff looks like a play for a piece of the OTT space

Suggested Articles

Nexstar Media closed its $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, making it the largest television broadcast group in the U.S.

A massive media conglomerate like Comcast/NBCUniversal makes news often but this week was particularly busy with an acquisition, a big name reveal and a major…

DAZN, a subscription sports streaming service that launched in 2018, has a new distribution deal in place on Comcast’s X1 and Flex video platforms.