Electronics giant Sony Corp. now has rights to nearly two dozen
The deal, announced Wednesday, represents a new chapter for Viacom. The New York media company said the Sony deal marked the first time that it was providing its networks to an Internet-based television and video-on-demand service.
“Given our young, tech-savvy audiences, our networks are essential for any new distribution platform, and we’re excited to be among the many programmers that will help power Sony’s new service and advance a new era for television," Viacom Chief Executive
Cable programmers, including Viacom, have had to walk a fine line when providing their valuable content, such as
They do not want to alienate traditional pay-TV companies, such as
But, at the same time, Viacom recognizes that younger consumers are as likely to watch "SpongeBob," "The Daily Show with
Sony has been working to secure channels for its planned subscription service, which it plans to begin testing in the U.S. later this year.
Sony has not disclosed other programming partners for the service, so Viacom is likely the first major programmer to agree to provide its content.
Sony said the planned service -- which will offer live and video on demand TV programming -- will be compatible with an estimated 75 million Internet-enabled Sony devices already sold in the U.S.
"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 of Sony's Network Entertainment Business, said in the statement.