Nov. 16, 2011 at 2:31 PM ET
In a move that mirrors what some of its rivals are up to, Sony is reportedly planning to circumvent big cable providers and bring live TV programming to its home devices via the Internet.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, "people familiar with the situation" have told them that Sony has reached out to "several big media companies to negotiate the rights to offer their TV channels over the Web in the U.S."
Sony would deliver the TV programming via the internet to its home electronics devices — TVs, Blu-ray players and, of course, PlayStation 3 game consoles.
According to the WSJ's sources, Sony hopes to license smaller bundles of channels than the big cable operators typically offer — which would be nice for those of us who don't want all the garbage that often comes packaged with the good stuff.
It certainly sounds a lot like what Microsoft has been working on for some time now. The maker of the rival Xbox 360 game machine earlier this year revealed that, starting this holiday, it will offer a host of TV programming — HBO, Bravo, Syfy — to those who own the game machine and have an online Xbox Live account.
Internet-connected Xboxes, PlayStations and Wii game machines have already proven very popular devices for accessing TV and movie content via Netflix and Hulu.
Bringing more TV programming options to game machines via the Internet simply makes good sense. According to a recent study from research firm Strategy Analytics, home game consoles have become the most popular device for U.S. consumers to watch online content on their TV screens.
Strategy Analytics found that 65 percent of Xbox 360 users under the age of 25 access online TV shows and movies primarily via their games consoles — even more than they do on desktop or notebook PC screens.
"These findings indicate significant levels of consumer demand for such services," said Senior Analyst Jia Wu in his report. "The upcoming Xbox TV launch for the holiday season will demonstrate an expansion of the partnership between the games consoles and the online TV and video industries. Games consoles have already become the key media hub in US households."
No wonder Sony wants in on this action.
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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.