Slowly but surely, we’re all cutting the cord (very literally) when it comes to TV. It’s bad news for service providers like DirecTV and Comcast, but many networks are embracing the new wave of offering subscription-free online services, like HBO recently embraced when they announced HBO Go for all users in 2015. For those that still insist on cable/satellite subscriptions, they can point to the robust On Demand offerings their providers have, something I’ve sorely missed for years once my family made the switch from Comcast to DirecTV. Needless to say, we all enjoy our TV, no matter how we take it in.
Sony is tapping into that need with their announcement of a cloud-based TV streaming service called PlayStation Vue. The service, which will begin rolling out in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles through the rest of the year, will offer both live TV, On Demand content, and temporarily-stored TV episodes through an initial offering of 75 channels per market via the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and iPad with more devices gaining accessibility later on. The networks Sony has already partnered with include CBS, Discovery Communications, Viacom, Fox, NBCUniversal, and Scripps Networks Interactive with more to come. The biggest network not listed (just yet) is Disney, which owns ABC and ESPN.
No pricing has been announced, but Sony has been very up front about not offering contracts – instead, the service will be a month-to-month, pay-as-you-go service with no cancellation fees, which should definitely come as a breath of fresh air to anybody who’s had to go through the hassle of canceling their cable or satellite services.
You can read Sony’s entire press release below.
SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (SNEI) and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today unveiled PlayStation™Vue, a pioneering new cloud-based TV service that reinvents the television experience.
“Everyday TV is about to become extraordinary with our new cloud-based TV service, PlayStation™Vue,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Group Executive in charge of the Network Entertainment Business. “PlayStation™Vue reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less. PlayStation™Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalog of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what’s popular, new and trending. Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation®4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”
Removing Barriers between Viewers and Content
PlayStation™Vue leverages the power of the cloud to combine the live, on-demand, and catch-up TV content viewers love with a powerful user interface that delivers unprecedented personalization and simplicity.
- PlayStation™Vue immediately connects viewers to the content they want to watch, helps them easily access their favorite shows and channels, and recommends movies and shows based on their viewing habits and what’s trending.
- Discovering content is both simple and powerful with PlayStation™Vue. The smart “Search” feature narrows down results quickly and intuitively, and the powerful “Explore” function allows viewers to filter the entire catalog of live and on-demand content by type of program, genre, ratings, popularity, length and more.
- PlayStation™Vue delivers catch-up and on-demand TV, freeing viewers to watch TV on their own schedules. The service makes the past three days of popular programming available without the need to schedule recordings.
- Viewers can save their favorite shows to the cloud without storage restrictions or scheduling conflicts. Once viewers tag a favorite show, they will automatically have access to episodes of that show for 28 days so that they can watch on their own time.
- PlayStation™Vue is simple to navigate and intuitive to use. By leveraging the power of the PlayStation® platform and controller, viewers are always one click away from quick access to watching, finding, and discovering content.
The Best Content on TV
During the invite-only beta, PlayStation™Vue will initially offer around 75 channels per market from the following major programmers, including local broadcast stations, so that viewers can enjoy their favorite movies, TV shows, and sports programs.
The following is a list of our current network partners, with additional partners to be announced in the future:
- CBS – At launch, PlayStation®Vue will offer the live linear signal from CBS Television Network’s owned-and-operated TV stations in select leading markets in addition to on-demand prime-time programming.
- Discovery Communications – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family Channel and 11 more brands.
- Fox – Fox Networks Group’s portfolio of national entertainment programming services, including – FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Additionally FOX Sports’ national and regional programming services – FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, BTN, Fox’s regional sports networks, including YES Network and Prime Ticket. The agreement also covers Fox’s owned and operated television stations.
- NBCUniversal – All local offerings from NBC, Telemundo and regional sports networks as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network and more.
- Scripps Networks Interactive – HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.
- Viacom – BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, PALLADIA, Spike, VH1 and more.
Transparent Pricing with No Commitments
Pricing and packaging details will be revealed at commercial launch but PlayStation™Vue is changing the rules for how people pay for subscription TV.
- What you see is what you pay – fair and competitive price that is transparent with no hidden fees or charges.
- No contracts – maximum flexibility as PlayStation™Vue will be offered on a month-to-month basis without any penalty or customer service hassles for cancellation.
- No equipment or installation charges – with broadband internet service and a PlayStation®4 system or PlayStation®3 system, there’s no need to install or rent any additional equipment.
PlayStation™Vue will begin an invite only beta preview during November for select PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 owners, with a phased rollout starting in New York followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. The service will also become available on iPad® shortly thereafter, and later on more Sony and non-Sony devices.
PlayStation™Vue will launch commercially during the first quarter of 2015.
About Sony Network Entertainment International LLC:
Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (SNEI) founded in April 2010, drives the vision, strategy and execution for network services across Sony Group, to offer consumers compelling, connected entertainment experiences across a variety of network enabled devices. Headquartered out of San Mateo, California SNEI’s operations span globally across San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego,London, Tokyo and more. Through PlayStation®Network and Sony Entertainment Network, SNEI offers a bevy of exciting services including PlayStation®Store, PlayStation®Plus, PlayStation™Vue, Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited and more. With over 56 million active viewers registered to our network and FY13 revenues exceeding 200 billion yen, SNEI is a core Sony business which continues to grow at breakneck speed as a leading provider of cutting edge digital entertainment experiences.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.:
Recognized as a global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes, develops and markets the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system, the PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system and the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. SCEI has revolutionized home entertainment since it launched PlayStation® in 1994. PlayStation®2 further enhanced the PlayStation® legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP broadens the entertainment experiences into the portable arena. PS3 is a computer entertainment system that incorporates the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. PS Vita is an ultimate portable entertainment system that offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity. PlayStation®4 redefines rich and immersive gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, intelligent personalization and deeply integrated social capabilities. PSNSM, that includes PlayStation®Store, delivers unparalleled online gaming experience to PlayStation viewers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI, along with its affiliated companies, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and its division company, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia, develops, publishes markets and distributes hardware and software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in their respective markets worldwide.
“PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “PS4” and “PS3” is a trademark of the same company.
iPad® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.