Aug. 16 - Sony has reportedly reached an agreement to stream Viacom's programs over the Internet in the first major deal of its kind, putting the media and entertainment conglomerate in the lead of Internet pay TV. Fred Katayama reports.
A breakthrough deal that could shake up the world of online pay TV. Media reports say Sony will stream Viacom's popular cable TV programs like SpongeBob SquarePants onto an Internet pay TV service it's creating. That means Sony's young customers who may have cut the cable cord can start watching Nickelodeon and MTV programs on their PlayStation gaming consoles, Bravia TVs, and later, on tablets and smartphones. It's the first deal of its kind involving a major programmer and a tech company. This catapults Sony into the lead in the fledgling field of streaming that includes the likes of video-on-demand providers Netflix and Amazon. And it puts them up against cable, satellite and telecom giants such as Time Warner, Comcast, Direct TV, and Verizon. The news gave Sony's stock a further lift. It has rallied nearly 80 percent this year amid a restructuring and a weaker yen. Sony plans to begin selling the service by year-end.