Sony to air 22 Viacom channels on cloud-based TV

U.S.-based cable network Viacom Inc. has reached a deal to allow Sony Corp.’s coming cloud-based TV service to carry at least 22 Viacom networks.

The announcement advances Sony’s internet-based live TV plan. Sony gains access to Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, MTV and Viacom’s video-on-demand programming.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“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,” Andrew House, group executive for Sony’s network entertainment business, said in a statement.

“Viacom’s award-winning networks are a perfect match for our new service, ensuring that our customers will be able to access the shows they love on their favourite devices, when and how they choose.”

Sony says it will announce more details of the service over the next few weeks.

The company first announced it will offer cloud-based live TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Subscribers will pay Sony for the service, to be launched later this year.

Sony is not the only company developing cloud-based TV, which would allow users to stream live TV on their PCs, laptops, PlayStations or phones. Google, Amazon, Apple and Netflix are testing the same market. But Sony jumps ahead of its competition by securing content for the service.

The CRTC is pondering the future of conventional television at a hearing this week in Gatineau, Que. Meanwhile, Canadians are finding numerous ways to cut the cable TV cord.

This week’s CRTC hearing is debating how we pay for cable and whether all channels should be pick and pay. It is also discussing potential content regulations for Netflix and whether American TV shows should be shown in Canada with Canadian ads.

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