Sony’s Internet-TV Service Will Be Like Your Current TV Service

/ Oct 7, 2014

sony internet tv

Earlier this year, Sony announced plans for a new TV service that would be delivered via the web, promising consumers the chance to watch their favorite TV channels across devices.

There were also expectations and predictions (among analysts, at least) that the service would seek to differentiate from the existing pay-TV ecosystem by offering smaller bundles of channels at cheaper prices — and in doing so become an attractive option for the growing numbers of “cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers.”

Unfortunately for those people, according to a report from the New York Post, Sony’s virtual TV service will be priced anywhere from $60 for a basic cable package to $80 for as many as 100 channels.

That doesn’t sound a whole lot different from what’s currently offered by existing pay-TV providers, which usually charge $100 or more for hundreds of channels (most of which you won’t watch).

Then again, for the innovation Sony is attempting by delivering an entire TV service over the web, the service itself was never meant to be much different from TV. The company has inked a carriage deal with Viacom to carry channels like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, and has held talks with the likes of Disney and Fox. It’s likely that Sony fell into the same situation that existing TV-service providers do — hard negotiations with content owners for their entire bundle. “They got creamed in negotiations,” a source told the Post.

Along with Sony, Dish Network and Verizon are two other notable media giants attempting to launch internet-based TV services. Dish has been on the record about offering a cheaper option with a smaller bundle of channels — and already has deals with Disney and A+E Networks.

Verizon, meanwhile, wants to take it a step further by offering a service that includes content from “major broadcast providers” as well as “custom channels” from digital content providers like AwesomenessTV, per comments made by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at an investor conference in September.

So for those of you hoping for a cheaper TV service, there’s still hope yet — but it’s not likely to be Sony.

The company’s service is expected to launch by the end of the year.

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