Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) announced Wednesday that cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon will stream on its forthcoming cloud-based TV service. Through a partnership with Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) that was rumored to arrive last year, Sony plans to stream on-demand as well as live content.
Viacom said in a statement that it was the first time it had offered live streaming of any of its 22 networks, which includes VH1 and Spike. Sony has not announced pricing details for the service, which it says will begin testing in key U.S. markets later this year.
“Our new cloud-based TV service will combine the live TV content people love most about cable with the dynamic experience they have come to expect from our network,” Sony Network Entertainment President Andrew House said in the statement.
The deal marks a big shift in the thinking of Viacom, which last year settled a three-year legal battle with YouTube over retransmission of its content. Cable companies like the New York-based Viacom don’t want to alienate providers who pay billions every year to carry their channels, like Comcast, Verizon and DirecTV, but also want to ensure that they will retain viewers who are increasingly "cutting the cord," or eschewing cable boxes for Internet-connected screens, game consoles and streaming media boxes.
The service would allow users to pause a show and resume it on a different device, House said in January. It will work on the PS4 as well as Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and the company’s Xperia line of smartphones.