Sony said to license Viacom networks for OTT service

Sony has reportedly reached a tentative deal that would let it sell Viacom's (NYSE: VIA) cable networks to consumers through an over-the-top pay-TV service it plans to introduce later this year. The service would be available on Sony's PlayStation video game console and some of its smart TVs and eventually on Sony-made tablets and phones, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The consumer-electronics maker would join Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Apple, (Nasdaq: AAPL) and potentially others as new entrants in the pay-TV space. The deal with Viacom, which according to the Journal has not been finalized, would give Sony access to popular programming like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

Access to mainstream TV programming has been a hurdle new entrants to the pay-TV sector have faced. Earlier this summer, reports surfaced that TV networks' existing contracts with cable operators might be preventing their ability to work with online distributors.

Each of these new services reportedly has its own unique bells and whistles. Apple reportedly presented networks with a plan that would compensate them for the ads viewers skipped when watching recorded programming. Intel's service will come with a vast cloud DVR. Sony's service, the Journal reported, will offer viewing recommendations based on other shows the subscriber has watched.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this report (sub. req.)
- Gizmodo has this report

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