Sony may be eyeing its own internet television service that would run in parallel — and in competition to — traditional cable. According to a report in Variety, Sony is "in active negotiations" with two or more companies to license their channels for such a service. The magazine's sources say that the discussions are far past the exploratory stage, and they say the service could launch later this year. The television service would not offer à la carte channel offerings, and there's no mention in the rumors of integration with existing over-the-top services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, or Hulu.
Unfortunately, there aren't too many details other than that, but this isn't the first time that rumors have swirled suggesting that Sony would get into this business. The electronics and media conglomerate already has a sizable footprint in living rooms across America, thanks to the PlayStation 3, its HDTVs, and its Blu-ray players. Sony also has Sony Pictures Entertainment, but it isn't clear how or if the service would leverage that arm of the company. If the rumors are correct, Sony wouldn't be the only ones to release a web TV service this year: talks suggest Intel's very own virtual TV service will come out sometime "soon" as well.