Sony eyes Internet TV service, says reports

Sony reportedly is exploring launching an Internet TV service to deliver content to American viewers via their Sony PlayStation game consoles, Blu-ray players and TVs.

The Wall Street Journal Online reported Nov. 16 that the electronics giant is considering the move. A Sony launch would be aimed squarely at taking business away from traditional pay-TV services, including cable, satellite and telco TV. Sony would not limit content to movies and television shows originating from its own studios. According to media reports, the company already has been in touch with NBC Universal, Discovery Communications and News Corp. about the idea of streaming their content to Sony devices.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer, speaking at a breakfast hosted by The Wall Street Journal Nov. 10, said the intense competition among television set manufacturers for market share has left them scrambling to develop a new generation of television to stand out from the rest. For its part, Sony is pursuing a “four-screen strategy” of TVs, smartphones, laptops and tablets that network with one another.

Word of Sony’s exploration of an Internet-TV offering comes just weeks after the death of Apple co-founder and CEO Steven Jobs, and the release of an authorized biography by Walter Isaacson in which Jobs told the author of his work on a television with a simple, next-generation interface. “I’ve finally cracked it,” Jobs is quoted as saying about television and the human interface.

In a report on the breakfast, Stringer is quoted as saying he has spent five years building a platform to compete with Jobs. "It's finished, and it's launching now," the report quotes Stringer as saying.