Sony finally expands Vue service nationwide, offers 'Slim' versions starting at $30 a month
Monday, March 14, 2016 | By Daniel Frankel
Sony has finally deployed its year-old PlayStation Vue pay-TV service nationwide, offering a revised set of programming tiers that starts at $30 a month.
A virtual pay-TV service that offers the immediate sign-up and no-CPE benefits of SVOD products like Netflix, Vue had previously been confined to major metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Starting today, consumers in 203 TV markets across the nation have access to the service. After slashing the three existing Vue programming tiers by $10 a month two weeks ago, Sony is now debuting a reconfigured set of tiers, under the PlayStation Vue Slim banner, to the newly added regions.
The Slim tiers won't have live access to local broadcast affiliates, but users still have next-day, on-demand access to the major broadcast networks, however.
"We were intent on bringing this valuable service to broader reach as quickly as possible," said Dwayne Benefield, VP and head of PlayStation Vue for Sony Network Entertainment International, told Variety. "With the assortment of channels we have now, we feel we are strong alternative to current pay-TV providers and new entrants."
The base-level "Access Slim" will run $30 a month and feature about 55 channels, while the Core Slim package will add regional sports networks and feature 70 total channels. The "Elite Slim" will run $45 a month and feature not only RSNs, but premium movie channels.
Sony announced price cuts to its three existing tiers two weeks ago, reducing the monthly nut for its base-level package to $40 a month.
Earlier, Sony announced a deal with Disney that brought access to ESPN networks. These moves addressed to key criticisms of the platform early on, as it sought to become an alternative to traditional pay-TV services.
"For us, it's about having the right content for what we feel is our target demographic," Benefield added. "We felt when we launched, the live local broadcasts were paramount, but our customers have been clamoring for these packages – most of the customer service calls that were coming in were, 'Hey, when is it coming to my city?'"
- read this Sony press release
- read this Associated Press story
- read this Variety story