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Sony, Tokyu partner on broadband cable Net services

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Sony's plan to put in place a broadband network capable of delivery high quality digital audio and video content to PlayStation 2 owners continues apace with Friday's signing of a network deal with Japanese cable TV company Tokyu Corp.

The alliance will see Sony take a ten per cent stake in Tokyu's cable TV division, at a cost of ¥10 billion (£95.10 million).

Together, the two firms will build a broadband pipeline based around Tokyu's existing cable TV infrastructure and filled with Sony-sourced content and e-commerce services, such as pay-per-view and pay-per-download. The two companies will also sell bandwidth to other cable TV and content operators.

Sony's broadband plans call for high-speed Net connections fed with digital entertainment content to be in place for launch in March 2001. On the content side, Sony has already rolled its Sony Pictures, Music and Computer Entertainment division into an umbrella operation called Sony Broadband.

Sony and Tokyu already have a partnership, along with Toyota, to offer Net access services through Tokyu's existing cable network.

According to the Nikkei newswire, the team-up comes mere days after AT&T and Microsoft announced plans to merge their cable Internet operations. ®

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