Sony’s Online Pay-TV Service To Launch With Channels You Might Actually Want To Watch

After what seemed like an eternity of news leaks, rumors, and promises of an online-only pay-TV service from Sony, the company has finally announced that it will indeed be launching that cloud-based service, and that it will start with a slate of channels including some that humans actually watch.

There is still no date yet for the launch of the Sony service, but Viacom confirmed this morning that it has reached a deal with the electronics and entertainment mega-company to include a slate of at least 22 of its channels on the new over-the-top TV offering.

That means the Sony service will include Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, BET, Vh1, CMT, and those channels’ assorted spinoffs.

And just like regular cable customers, subscribers to the Sony service will be able to log into the websites and apps for these stations to access their TV Everywhere streams.

This is a huge deal for Sony and for the future of over-the-top pay-TV, as the perceived biggest barrier to the success of these services has been content companies’ reluctance to anger the big players in pay-TV like Comcast and DirecTV.

Dish, which also plans to launch an online-only pay-TV service, has reached some sort of deal with Disney, but the specifics about which Disney-owned channels, including the many ESPNs, are involved in that arrangement are still unknown.

And while Disney does hold that prized possession of ESPN, one could argue that Viacom has the more valuable overall slate of channels to attract a large number of general interest cord-cutters.

Additionally, the Sony/Viacom deal shows that a company that is not already involved in the pay-TV business can reach a streaming deal with a mammoth content provider.

Now if Sony would just tell us when this sucker will launch, and how much it will cost, we could finally get around to evaluating its worth.

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