Sony's internet TV to disrupt Europe's pay TV markets

Michael Philpott/Ovum
OvumOvum attended a Sony briefing last week on its European TV strategy, a large part of which is the launch of the PlayStation Network VoD service by the end of 2009, and internet-enabled Bravia TV sets (Bravia Internet Video) in the second half of 2010.
 
Such developments from large powerful brands such as Sony will significantly disrupt the pay TV market by placing a competing platform directly on the most important device in the living room – the TV screen.
 
Sony’s video strategy is split into two parts: a video on demand (VoD) service via the PlayStation Network and an internet video strategy that will provide catch-up broadcast TV content as well as access to other internet TV sources.
 
In both cases the content line-up looks impressive. The VoD service, which will be launched in France, Germany, Spain and the UK by the end of 2009, will carry content from all the major Hollywood studios as well as the largest local studios.
 
Negotiations with content providers are still under way for the Bravia internet video feature, but by the time of launch Sony hopes to have signed up many of the major European broadcasters. At the time of the briefing, Sony had already confirmed:
  • UK: Five
  • France: M6
  • Germany: ARD Tageschau
  • Italy: Mediaset
  • Spain: RTVE Antena3, laSexta.
Agreements are also in place to deliver other forms of internet video content from popular sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion.
 
Sony’s VoD service will initially be available on the PS3, whose users are already starting to see some internet TV services (such as the BBC’s iPlayer) appear on the PS3 menu.
 
However, with the launch of Bravia Internet Video feature-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players, Bravia TVs and Blu-ray Home Theatre devices in the first half of 2010, online content will be directly available and thus over time will also become available to non-PS3 owners. Sony suggested that many of the catch-up TV broadcast channels will first appear on the Bravia internet video feature-enabled devices, with migration to the PS3 at a later date.
 

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