Sony Is Also Working On A Secret Plan To Blow Up The Cable Business

Sony Kaz HiraSony boss Kazuo Hirai

Photo: Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian

Is anyone in the technology industry not working on a plan to disrupt the traditional cable model?The latest entrant is Sony, which is apparently trying to figure out how to build a virtual cable network that is distributed through the Internet.

Andrew Wallenstein at Variety says Sony has been quietly working to reach deals with content companies. It sounds like it’s not working out very well so far.

Sony would need to pay a lot of money for the content, and a lot of money for the infrastructure to deliver the content.

Sony is not a company like Apple, Microsoft, or even Intel. It has failed to deliver hit products for a while now and it’s in serious trouble. Taking on a high-risk project like disrupting the cable industry doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then again, we’re not sure what Sony’s good at anymore, so maybe it needs to throw a hail-mary and hope for the best.

Unlike Intel, which was exploring offering users channels on per-channel basis, Sony is only interested in delivering packages of content, much like how we already get cable. It’s hard to see how Sony would be able to lower the price of cable for consumers, and thus hard to see how this thing wouldn’t wind up dead on arrival. 

And, while we’re on the topic, as a consumer, you may have your fingers crossed that Sony or Intel or anyone is going to do something to blow up the traditional cable business. Here’s why even if it happens, you’ll be screwed.

The cable companies control the pipes. They deliver your TV and they deliver your Internet. If you stop paying for TV, they will just jack up your Internet bill. And so, any savings you might get from Sony would ultimately be wiped out.

If you really want to pray for the death of cable, then you need to pray for something like Google fibre, which is a nicer version of the cable companies.

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