Sony Stalls Its Streaming TV Service Because Cable Controls Data

Illustration for article titled Sony Stalls Its Streaming TV Service Because Cable Controls Data

Sony finally confirmed that it's working on a broadband TV service to compete with the reviled cable companies. Great! Except that the project is on hold over concerns about cable companies, data caps, and net neutrality. That means fewer choices for you and more power to big cable.

Sony's service was rumored to be a bundled TV package that would be delivered to your screen over a broadband connection. Assuming Sony could secure the TV rights, the service could be a cheaper alternative to the packages offered by cable and satellite companies. But rights aren't the only issue. Variety reports that Sony executives are worried that the cable companies might unfairly leverage their control over your broadband connection to promote their own services.

Michael Aragon, VP and GM of global video and music at Sony Network Entertainment, confirmed that his company is considering offering TV via broadband but is waiting for clarity on whether Comcast is allowed to provide consumers access to programming via its Xfinity app on the XBox platform without counting against the cable operator's bandwidth caps.

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Last month, Comcast announced that content streamed from its Xfinity video-on-demand service on the Xbox 360 would be exempt from the company's monthly data caps. The move is reportedly being parsed by the FCC for legality, but if it's allowed to proceed, it will put everyone from Netflix to Hulu to Sony at a huge disadvantage. We'll have to wait and see whether or not regulators let the decision move forward. [Variety via Electronista]

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DISCUSSION

You know, I don't feel so bad simply because this is Sony we're talking about. They are content owners and they are beginning to feel the pinch of what happens when you limit people's options and you stomp on net neutrality: People steal.

All of the big media producers are in a choke-hold for power, stepping on eachother's rights, finding ways to be as anti-competitive as possible, controlling the content, controlling the data, limiting free use, that they're continuing to lose touch with what people want.

Sony, trust me, you're better off not wasting your effort on a streaming service, because it would probably suck and I wouldn't want it. Nor do I want Comcast's, nor Netflix, nor Hulu. I don't feel like being at the wrong end of YOUR losing battle.

...and back to our regularly scheduled Bittorrent.