Viacom CEO Philppe Dauman said he expected a virtual cable operators would be launched in the new year.
At the 41st Annual UBS Media and Communications Conference in New York Monday, Dauman was asked if 2014 was the year of the virtual MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) and he said "I think there's a very strong chance of that, yes. But I’ll leave it to any such entity to make their own announcement."
Several technology companies have been looking to get into the TV business by offering better streaming and on demand contents and better navigation devices, but they've been held up by programmers who are leery of disrupting the current lucrative pay TV environment.
Earlier this year Viacom reportedly made a deal with Sony that would make Viacom's channels available over a broadband TV system Sony was expected to launch.
Intel also planned such a service but not appears to be in the process of selling its technology rather than implementing it.
Other companies considered likely to get into the virtual MSO race are Google and Apple.