PlayStation Vue, Sony's cable-like streaming television service, is now $10 cheaper across all of its multichannel packages, Sony announced today.
The new monthly subscriptions are now priced at $39.99 for Access (60-plus channels), $44.99 for Core (75-plus channels) and $54.99 for Elite (100-plus channels). This is Vue's second price cut in the past four months. In November, Sony reduced the cost of the two higher-priced tiers by $5. The price drops are effective today for new customers, while existing subscribers will see the price go down in their next billing cycle.
Sony's new prices for Vue may finally make the service viable from a cost perspective. Until now, subscribing to Vue may not have made sense because the service requires a separate broadband internet subscription. In other words, for many people it was still cheaper to pay a company like Verizon or Comcast for a bundle of cable TV and internet service. In 2014, the average monthly price for a U.S. pay-TV package ranged from $22.78 for basic service to $66.61 for the most popular package, according to a report from the Federal Communications Commission.
PlayStation Vue is also much more viable as a cable TV alternative as of today, because of the long-awaited debut of channels owned by ESPN Media Networks and the Disney ABC Television Group. Disney had been the lone holdout among the major media conglomerates that agreed to bring their networks to Vue, leaving the service without key channels such as ESPN and Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). Sony's agreement with the companies covers 18 different channels, although only 11 of them are arriving today:
- ABC (Access)
- Disney Channel (Access)
- Disney Junior (Access)
- Disney XD (Access)
- ESPN (Access)
- ESPN2 (Access)
- ESPNU (Core)
- ESPNEWS (Core)
- Freeform (Access)
- Fusion (Elite)
- SEC Network (Core)
The other seven channels — ESPN3, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, Longhorn Network, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Classic — will launch "at a later date," Sony said in a press release. As for the broadcast network ABC, it is available today in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. On-demand programming from ABC will go live later in Dallas and Miami.
PlayStation Vue is currently available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, as well as on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The service can also be accessed through the Vue mobile app on Google Chromecast, iPad and iPhone.