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It's Complicated, but Sony's Pay TV Service Is Still "On Track"

Did we mention it's really complicated?

Eric Johnson

At CES in January, Sony said it wants to leverage the millions of PlayStation consoles already in U.S. homes to deliver an “over-the-top” pay-TV service. Despite the introduction of a cheap TV-connected box, there was no mention of the service at last night’s E3 press conference.

However, Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Shawn Layden tells Re/code the service is still coming later this year.

Re/code: What should we expect from the over-the-top TV service?

Shawn Layden: It will be a revolutionary service to bring to market. I think others have had similar ambitions and are trying to go there. Some have dropped out — everyone knows Intel — because it’s really complicated to do. We’re spending a lot of time and energy to make sure we get that mix just right. [There are] a lot of content partners, a lot of current stakeholders in the market where we want to go. I believe we talked about bringing it to market in some capacity by the end of this year. I would say we are still on track to do that.

What platforms will it be on?

Layden: We probably wouldn’t throw the switch on all devices on Day One, simply because client management is tricky. When we flip the switch, it will be on the right array of devices to have a meaningful market reaction test. Again, it’s a very complicated proposition to tie together. We hope to make more announcements in the future.

What type of programming should we expect?

Layden: I think you should expect to see the channels and content and partners that I believe you would find the most interesting. We’re going after all the partners that you’d expect us to go for. It’s not going to be based on the back of three channels and a video-on-demand service, that’s it, goodbye. That’s just a nonstarter.

What about sports? Is that in the mix?

Layden: Absolutely. We’re looking at making that happen. TV is all about live event viewing, and live event viewing is all about sports. Well, and traffic reporting. That’s about it. Again, it’s really complicated.

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