updated 03:00 pm EDT, Tue May 1, 2012
Company said to be watching Comcast/Netflix debacle
Sony is reportedly stalling its plans to develop a streaming television service, amid fears over potential net-neutrality conflicts. The company's vice president and general manager of global video, Michael Aragon, has finally confirmed rumors surrounding the service, however he told attendees at Variety's Entertainment & Technology Summit that the plans have been put on hold due to the conflict between Netflix and Comcast.
The video service would use what is referred to as a "virtual MSO" model, bundling television content and competing with traditional cable and satellite television providers. Users would be able to view a number of channels via broadband Internet connections.
Netflix recently accused Comcast of violating net-neutrality regulations after the cable company offered its own Xfinity TV app that allows users to view unlimited content on the Xbox 360 without subtracting the data usage from a subscriber's monthly allowance. Similar content viewed through a competing app, such as Netflix or Hulu, would bring users closer to exceeding their data cap.
"These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth," Aragon said. "If they start capping things, it gets difficult."
The FCC is said to be investigating the Comcast issue, however regulators have yet to publicly announce if the service violates existing laws.