PlayStation Vue Streaming Service Gets ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel2 Mar, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Sony drops price on the year-old OTT skinny bundle
In a move signaling The Walt Disney Co.’s increasing acceptance of direct-to-consumer access, subsidiaries ESPN, ABC TV and Disney Channel, among other brands, are now available on Sony’s upstart online TV service, PlayStation Vue.
Sony is also dropping the basic “Access” (60+ channels) monthly price of the standalone service 20% to $40, which is available in seven cities nationwide via the PlayStation 4 gaming console. Separate “Core” (75+ channels) and “Elite” (100+ channels) services now cost $44.99 and $54.99 a month, respectively.
Similarly to Dish Network’s Sling TV, Vue’s bundles enable subscribers access to Showtime OTT, Machinima, Fox Soccer Plus and Epix for additional fees, ranging from $1.99 to $14.99.
Separately, Disney reportedly has begun offering pay-TV subscribers same-day streaming access to Disney Channel and related content. Previously, subs had to wait a day after initial broadcast to access the channels online.
“As our viewers are increasingly presented with more viewing options, our goal is to give them a consistent offering and to ensure that performance is maximized across all platforms,” Paul DeBendittis, SVP of programming strategy at Disney Channels Wordwide, said in a statement reported by Broadcasting & Cable.
Finally, Disney is eyeing launch of its standalone OTT video service, DisneyLife, in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Disney is in talks with an unnamed telecom to help launch the $20 (Canadian) subscription streaming service.
DisneyLife launched last November in the United Kingdom featuring more than 300 movies (including Pixar), Disney Channel shows and music tracks. In December it secured a deal with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to begin distributing DisneyLife in the communist country.