By James Paladino/ ( | First Posted: Jan 04, 2013 11:36 PM EST

(Photo : Sony)

Television programming is in for a shakeup in 2013 if rumors of Intel and Sony's entrance into the market come to fruition. Sources close to Sony tell Variety that "ongoing talks [are] far beyond exploratory" and that the Japan-based company will be crafting a virtual MSO, which is an online cable service.

Sony's will reportedly offer traditional bundles akin to Cablevision or DirectTV's packages, but does not require a cable wire or dish to stream content to users' households. The source claims that Sony's cable alternative could launch as early as this year. Should Sony decide to follow through with its plan, the upcoming Playstation 4 would likely provide connectivity to the service.

Intel sources recently told TechCrunch that the chip-maker will announce its own cable service and set-top box at CES on Monday, January 7th. The company hopes to differentiate its program suite by granting users the ability to customize their own channels as opposed to buying into bloated bundles. Users may have the opportunity to watch any program which aired within the last month, if the sources are correct.

Intel will reportedly launch the service city-by city to give the company "more flexibility in negotiating licensing with reluctant content providers."

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