Sony's over-the-top pay-TV service is still "on track" and could debut by the end of this year.
That was the essential message put forth Tuesday by Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Shawn Layden, responding in an interview with Re/code a day after an inexplicable Sony corporate communications strategy seemed to belie that notion.
On Monday, at the E3 gaming trade show in Los Angeles, Sony introduced a North American version of its inexpensive console spinoff device, the PlayStation TV, with nary a mention of the new video programming service.
At CES in January, Sony announced it would use the millions of PlayStation consoles in U.S. homes to deliver an OTT pay-TV service.
"I believe we talked about bringing it to market in some capacity by the end of this year. I would say we are still on track to do that," Layden told Re/code.
Still, he acknowledged the challenges associated with packaging together all the necessary digital content rights.
"It will be a revolutionary service to bring to market," Layden added. "I think others have had similar ambitions and are trying to go there. Some have dropped out--everyone knows Intel--because it's really complicated to do. We're spending a lot of time and energy to make sure we get that mix just right. [There are] a lot of content partners, a lot of current stakeholders in the market where we want to go."
As for what kind of programming to expect on the new service, Layden remarked, "We're going after all the partners that you'd expect us to go for. It's not going to be based on the back of three channels and a video-on-demand service, that's it, goodbye. That's just a nonstarter."
At E3, Sony announced the $99 PlayStation TV, a small gaming console and media player that will debut in the U.S. and Canada in the fall. While making this announcement, however, Sony did not discuss any support for its pending pay-TV offering.
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