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Sony Unveils PlayStation Vue Video Service

13 Nov, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

OTT platform will feature live TV, sports, on-demand programing and is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2015

The conventional pay-TV ecosystem took a hit Nov. 13 as Sony Network Entertainment International and Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled PlayStation Vue, a new cloud-based TV service set to launch in the first quarter of 2015. Pricing for service, which will be month-to-month, was not disclosed.

San Mateo, Calif.-based SNEI said select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners will be invited to beta test the software beginning this month, with phased rollouts starting in New York, followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Notable to the service is that it will be the first OTT platform offering live sports.

“Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service,” Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and group executive in charge of the network entertainment business, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PS4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”

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

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

Fox will make available 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 will make 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 will feature 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.

Speaking on Viacom's fiscal call, CEO Philippe Dauman declined to reveal specifics of the license agreement with PlayStation Vue, other than its incremental revenue would grow commensurate with Vue's growth.

"Much of our audience is using PlayStation and we think we will acquire a lot of new viewers who currently may not have cable subscriptions and may switch over, as was the case of past emerging distribution partners like the telcos," Dauman said. "We see this as a great opportunity to expand distribution and grow revenue."

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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