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Sony said to be developing online TV service

The entertainment giant is rumored to be working on a new Web-based TV service with dozens of channels to compete with cable, satellite, and broadband-based television services.

The Sony XBR-84X900 could feature the company's new television service, which is rumored to be in the works. Sony

Word on the street is that Sony is creating a Net-connected multichannel television service that could roll out as soon as this year, according to Variety. Purportedly, the company is in talks with at least two big content companies about channel licensing.

Such a service would put Sony in direct competition with both satellite and cable TV, as well as other tech companies that are branching out into the television market, such as Intel; Google, with Google Fiber; and Dish.

This isn't the first time rumors have floated that Sony has been looking to develop a TV service. In November 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sony was working to distribute television channels through Net-connected TV sets as an alternative to cable. According to Variety, the negotiations Sony is currently working on are far more advanced than they were a year ago.

Sony already has a few channels, such as the Game Show Network, as well as Video and Music Unlimited, but the rumored new service is said to be far more comprehensive, with dozens of channels. Additionally, the deal could theoretically help Sony sell more of its entertainment-focused products, such as the PlayStation 3 gaming console, Bravia TV sets, and Blu-ray players.

When asked about the possibility of a television service, a Sony representative told CNET that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.