Sony To Rival Google, Intel With New TV Streaming Service

At this point, it's not really a question of whether the television industry will be massively disrupted, but when. Analysts have been expecting Apple to take the lead, but it has been smaller outfits such as Roku and Hulu changing things up. But, there's still no true replacement for pay-TV, at least not yet, as most channels that offer online viewing options won't allow streaming without a pay-TV subscription. But Sony may come out of nowhere and shock us all, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

The company has reportedly inked a deal with Viacom in order to carry MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon on a "planned pay-TV service." Intel, Google and Apple have yet to land such a content agreement. Early reports suggest that Sony is planning to " stream cable channels and on-demand programming over the Internet, posing new competition for cable, satellite and phone companies that sell subscription TV services."

Sony would initially allow its own customers to tap in, using the PlayStation line and handhelds, along with Sony HDTVs. If all goes well, it could launch "early next year," which should give it enough time to land even more content agreements. But, of course, the first is always the toughest, and we're hoping that the flood gates here are really about to open up.