Sony announced Thursday that it aims to elbow into the cable and satellite TV market with its on cloud-based TV service called PlayStation Vue. The company has lined up partners to provide around 75 local and national channels when it launches commercially in the first quarter of 2015.
PlayStation Vue will be tested in New York City later this month, according to a USA Today report. Select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 users who subscribe to the PlayStation Plus subscription will be invited to the beta.
Afterwards, Sony expects to launch the service in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles during the beginning of 2015 before expanding to additional cities. Additional devices will be added as well with an iPad app plus support for other Sony and non-Sony devices.
We’ve seen services like Hulu that offer time-delayed local programming from the major broadcast networks while Netflix and other services provide cable TV content long after it originally aired. PlayStation Vue will provide live local broadcasts and cable TV programming along with on-demand content and programs that users have saved to a cloud-based DVR.
Reuters reports that Sony has signed up CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Viacom thus far to provide around 75 channels. Disney has not yet joined though which leaves out programming from ABC and ESPN for now and neither has Time Warner who owns Cartoon Network, CNN, TNT, TBS among others. “It’s a pretty robust lineup, by no means do I think we are done,” Sony CEO Andrew House said.
Here is what can be expected when PlayStation Vue becomes available.
- CBS – At launch, PlayStation Vue will offer the live linear signal from CBS Television Network’s owned-and-operated TV stations in select leading markets in addition to on-demand prime-time programming.
- Discovery Communications – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more brands.
- Fox – Fox Networks Group’s portfolio of national entertainment programming services, including – FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Additionally FOX Sports’ national and regional programming services – FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, BTN, Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations.
- NBCUniversal – All local offerings from NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network and more.
- Scripps Networks Interactive – HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.
- Viacom – BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Palladia, Spike, VH1 and more.
Pricing for the service has not been announced yet. Sony’s House will only say that the subscription fee will be “competitive” and subscribers will not be charged a setup fee. The subscription will also be month-to-month with no contract to stay subscribed for a year or more.
Sony will be entering into a competitive field that includes more internet-based services. CBS recently launched its CBS All Access monthly service for $5.99 a month. Meanwhile, HBO has already announced that its HBO Go streaming service will become available to those without a cable subscription as will a similar Showtime service. Additionally, Dish Network and Verizon will be launching their own internet-based TV services as well.
Sony is banking on PlayStation Vue’s unique features to attract customers beyond just programming. The service will allow users to personalize their experience by favoriting up to 500 series and make live TV recommendations based on viewing history. The cloud-based DVR is also a major feature that will automatically save shows that have been favorited so that the individual episodes can be watched later.
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[Images via Sony]