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Sony Bows PlayStation Vue Web TV Service

18 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Cord cutters get another diversion to pay-TV — and Netflix

As expected, Sony Network Entertainment March 18 formally launched PlayStation Vue — an over-the-top video service — in three cities for $49.99 a month — 150% more expensive than Dish Network’s Sling TV.

The higher price is due in part to PlayStation Vue combining live and on-demand TV, and a cloud-based DVR to stream TV shows, movies and sports directly to a game console without a cable or satellite subscription. Programming can be stored up to 28 days. Sling TV at $20 a month has no DVR or on-demand functionality. PlayStation Vue is initially available only on PS4 and PS3.

Vue is offering new subscribers in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York a free seven-day trial for the OTT service, which, following Sling’s launch in February, is the second major Internet TV service bowing this year. Additional services from Verizon and Apple are slated to launch this summer and fall, respectively.

Separately, HBO and Showtime have pending direct-to-consumer video services launching this year.

“We are working hard to deliver PlayStation Vue to more cities soon. We are also bringing PlayStation Vue to iPad in the near future,” Eric Lempel, VP of Sony Network Entertainment, wrote in a blog post.

At launch, Vue features a live linear signal from CBS TV stations in select markets, in addition to on-demand primetime programming.

Discovery Communications is making available Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more channels.

Fox is offering FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild, in addition to Fox Sports’ national and regional programming services — Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, BTN and Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations.

NBC Universal, which reportedly won't be part of Apple's OTT service, is making available local TV affiliates, Telemundo, regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy and USA Network, among others.

Scripps Networks Interactive is featuring HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel, while Viacom will offer BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, PALLADIA, Spike and VH1 among other channels.

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