According to The Wall Street Journal, Sony has approached “several big media companies” including Discovery, NBCUniversal, and News Corp. about potentially streaming their content over the web to Sony devices as a cable television alternative.
Television content would play on PlayStation consoles, Sony Blu-ray players, and TVs, all of which currently support Sony’s video-on-demand Video Unlimited service. Unlike Video Unlimited, the new service would broadcast live television.
There are currently 18.1 million PlayStation 3 consoles in homes in the United States. Allowing those consoles to stream live television could be potentially huge for Sony, and pose a real threat to traditional cable providers. Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S. only has 22.4 million subscribers. Take Sony’s 18 million PlayStations, add its televisions and Blu-ray players, and you’ve got some real competition on your hands.
Internet-based TV has the potential to integrate new web elements into programming, and the ability to allow customers to buy packages based on the amount of TV or type of television they want to watch. If successful, it would force cable companies to make similar offerings, likely driving the cost of television as a whole down for consumers.
What do you think? Would you ditch your cable to stream live TV through your PlayStation or Sony TV?