Playstation parent, Sony, wants badly to be in the OTT business. And unlike Intel and its OnCue attempt, Sony seems to have a plan. Intel tried building its own set top box while Sony has the power of millions of Playstation boxes already out in the field. The next step is content and Sony plans to deliver.
Per the Wall Street Journal, Sony has "reached an agreement for its planned Web-based TV service to carry MTV, Nickelodeon and 20 other
channels and offer access to streaming Viacom programming on mobile devices." And as Playstation reaches a core young adult and teen audience, Viacom networks like Comedy Central, MTV, and others seem a terrific fit. Intel eventually sold OnCue to Verizon and so far we have heard little about their plans with the acquisition. Others, like Dish Network, also want to get into the web TV gain. Of course the question remains, will consumers embrace getting fewer channels although at a lower price.
Should cable operators be worried? Remember that the same lines that deliver cable TV also delivers broadband to the home and services from Sony or Dish or others in the OTT space still need a broadband platform to deliver streaming content. Cable operators could simply charge more for broadband only connections. At the same time, cable operators can negotiate with the networks for additional access of linear and VOD content for streaming, an opportunity that would give customers a better TV Everywhere experience. Lastly cable operators can enhance their value with deals with other box companies like TiVo, XBox and others. And cable operators can still tout the power of more... more content, more accessibility, more value.
As this rock rolls down the mountain, the moss that it gathers will be more content companies doing deals with OTT. Discovery Networks has been mentioned as another possible content seller to Sony. Others will no doubt follow. For cable, all is not loss; just remember that what got you your size doesn't keep you number one. Its time to act.