A new movie channel dubbed Sony Pictures Movies HD will possibly launch Oct. 1, tapping into Sony’s extensive library of films which includes blockbuster titles such as Angels & Demons and Spider-Man 3. This news comes via the Los Angeles Times which reports Sony Television plans to launch two new channels in the United States. The Sony movie channel may launch along with Fearnet, a joint venture between Sony, Lionsgate and Comcast Corp which already offers horror genre films on demand and online. Sony has already launched television channels abroad but has yet to do so in U.S. markets.
According to sources who spoke with the LA Times, the Sony movie channel would not compete with premium channels like HBO or Showtime, but would rather be built into a paid service package much like Universal HD and MGM HD. How much would cable operators pay for the channel? Sony was apparently throwing around a $1.50 per subscriber number which was not received well by cable operators. A more realistic number may be less than half that, if Sony expects to get immediate wide distribution.
Another high-definition non-premium movie channel would be a welcome addition to any cable or satellite channel lineup. News about Fearnet becoming a linear channel broke last month with Comcast, FiOS, Cox committed to providing the channel both in standard and high-definition.