Following a beta trial with thousands of invitation-only PlayStation users, Sony has launched PlayStation Vue, its OTT pay-TV service, in three markets – New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Early on, PlayStation Vue, which will grapple with traditional MVPDs, will offer three no-contract service tiers that deliver a mix of at least 85 broadcast and cable channels per market – an entry-level “Access” tier for $49.99 per month; a “Core” service that includes local sports channels for $59.99 per month; and an “Elite” service that includes everything in Access and Core, plus more than two dozen additional channels. Sony will tie all of that content into a cloud-based, media-rich user interface that provides users with a wide range of options to help users find and browse content. Sony will let new, qualified users try PS Vue for free for seven days.
PlayStation Vue is starting off with a lineup that includes the local broadcast feeds of CBS, Fox and NBC. Absent in the early going is ABC, ESPN and other channels from the Walt Disney family, but Sony is currently in distribution talks with Disney and other programmers, Sony execs said in a recent briefing in New York. Sony's discussions are also expected to encompass possible distribution of HBO Now, the new standalone OTT service from the premium programmer that will launch initially on Apple devices, and later become available to Cablevision Systems broadband customers.