In a deal that may signal the start of a new era of competition for entrenched cable and satellite providers, Viacom has tentatively agreed to let its popular cable channels — like Nickelodeon and MTV — be carried by an Internet TV service that Sony is creating.
The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind between a major programmer and any of the technology giants that are trying to disrupt traditional modes of TV delivery. If other programmers follow suit, Sony’s service would let paying subscribers receive live cable channels the same way they use on-demand services like Netflix or Hulu. Intel and Google are working on a similar service but trying to make it more user-friendly, perhaps the way that Netflix does with personalization features and a fancy interface.
— From wire reports