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22 Viacom channels now on Sony web TV

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MUMBAI: Viacom has announced a deal with Sony to make 22 of its channels including Comedy Central and MTV, available for Sony’s forthcoming over-the-top (OTT) TV service in US.

The Viacom channels will be available when the new service launches, the company said in a statement. Customers also will have access to on-demand programming from Viacom.

It is the first time Viacom has agreed to provide its channels for an internet-based live TV and video on demand service, the company added.

Confirming the collaboration, Sony Corporation Network Entertainment Business’ group executive Andrew House said, “Viacom’s award-winning channels 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.”

“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,” he added.

Scheduled to start later this year, the service is expected to bring live TV and on-demand programming to Sony’s network of 75 million internet-enabled Sony devices in US, including PlayStation game consoles and web-connected televisions.

Excited about the new alliance, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said, “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.”

The new Sony service will give people the ability to watch shows like Spongebob Squarepants and The Daily Show without a cable subscription. Viewers will be able to access the service through Sony’s PlayStation video game console or through mobile devices like the iPad. Users will have access to live streams as well as archived shows.

The 22 Viacom linear networks includes BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Spike, TV Land and VH1, BET Gospel, Centric, Logo, CMT Pure Country, MTV Hits, MTV James, mtvU, Palladia, TeenNick, Vh1 Classic and Vh1 Soul and all available HD.

Beyond Viacom, the service is expected to include content from other major network groups. According to media reports, Sony has held talks with Discovery Communications, Time Warner and Starz, among others, about including their networks in the new service.

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