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Fox and Disney set to sign up for Sony's online streaming service

Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox are in talk to supply Sony with content for its planned Internet-based TV service, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

If the deal is completed the two companies would join Viacom, which announced yesterday that it will provide 22 networks for Sony's web-based service. In a statement, Sony and Viacom confirmed that the deal includes live and on-demand programming.

Read more: Sony to enter streaming market with Playstation TV's November launch (opens in new tab)

Sony also announced that it was in discussions with a number of "major programmers," but would not identify them and said no deal with Fox or Disney was imminent.

"Sony is clearly beefing up content offerings for its growth plans for its Entertainment Network division, recently merged with its gaming unit," said Amir Anvarzadeh, manager of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc. in Singapore.

A number of television and technology firms are exploring online streaming packages as a way of reaching younger viewers who are less interested in traditional cable and satellite TV. However, it can be a lengthy process, as companies have to ensure they have a robust enough line-up of shows before launching. Sony's deal with Viacom, for example, took over a year to complete.

The partnership unites more than 75 million Internet-enabled Sony devices with Viacom's cable portfolio, the biggest in the US by audience share.

Sony has recently increased investment in content production and TV networks as CEO Kazuo Hirai pushes his "One Sony" vision to unite products across mobile devices, TVs, games and music.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that every major TV programmer has explored the online streaming market.

Read more: Microsoft announces raft of new Xbox One features including TV streaming via SmartGlass (opens in new tab)

"What they are trying to do is figure out a way to get younger consumers and some cohorts that are not obviously going to subscribe to big packages and bundles of channels, and give them really an on-ramp to starting in the experience of subscribing and getting something that fits them."

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.