Thursday marks the final day of PlayStation Vue’s existence. Beginning Friday, its users will have to search for a new way to stream their favorite cable networks. Sony, which announced the closure in October, explained it was closing Vue because of rising content costs and said it would rather focus on its core gaming business.
“Unfortunately, the highly competitive pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected,” the company wrote in a blog post.
On day two of the Pay TV Show a panel of representatives from virtual MVPDs gathered to discuss the future of the TV service and channel bundles.
Sony has announced that it has signed on seven more CBS affiliate stations for its virtual MVPD service, PlayStation Vue. With the deals, Vue users in Houston, New Orleans, Washington and San Antonio now have live streaming access to their local CBS stations. Other regions gaining CBS local access: Greensboro, N.C., as well as Tampa and Orlando, Fla.
Video streaming providers were originally known as “over-the-top” services because they gave viewers an alternative to cable and satellite. But now one of those services, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, is going back through the middle: It agreed to to offer its channel packages directly to about 9 million mostly rural cable subscribers. Sony says it will offer the service to more than 850 cable and broadband providers who belong to the National Cable Television Cooperative.
Johannes Leonardo has picked up the account for Sony’s new PlayStation Vue streaming TV service after a review that began last fall, according to people familiar with the situation. The cloud-based TV service, delivered through Sony’s PS4 and PS3 consoles, has been available in initial markets such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia since March, and limited promotion has appeared in those areas. A national campaign is expected to begin later this year as Sony gains rights to TV stations in other markets and the service expands.
Starting at $50 a month, Vue offers more than 50 over-the-air and cable channels for online streaming. But you need a PlayStation game console and you still need Internet access — likely from the same cable company you’re trying to ditch. If you press, your pay-TV company might offer a slimmed-down TV package that’s comparable to Sony’s in price and lineup. Instead of a lower bill, what you get is an attempt to modernize how we watch TV.