Sony has released an official statement about the PlayStation Vue via its official PlayStation blog. The gaming giant will be shutting down its live TV streaming service on January 30, 2020, so they can refocus their service on the core gaming business.
This does not come as a surprise as Sony has put hindsight on this aspect of their product line. As John Kodera, SIE’s Deputy President, explained, Sony cannot keep up with the highly competitive industry of Pay TV. Valuable content and grueling network deals have slowed down that what the company was expecting.
The deputy president emphasizes that SIE will be refocusing its line on core gaming. Nonetheless, he also praised PlayStation Vue for what it was able to accomplish over the years.
PS Vue is an OTT (Over-the-Top) Internet TV service that was rolled out in March 2015. The company intends to shut down the service after just over four years in the market. Though PS Vue presented PS owners with comprehensive entertainment coverage, there were significant setbacks for the Sony project.
PlayStation Vue is not only a streaming service, but intended viewers had to purchase their subscription via their PS accounts. This allowed PS owners to view select local channels around the US, including national broadcasts for CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. Sony also partnered with several notable channels such as Disney, Netflix, and Hulu.
The concept behind the project was to create a substitute for the traditional pay-TV, which can be accessed through their consoles. The services were initially only available in San Francisco and Los Angeles before it was rolled out nationwide.
Using the Machinima network owned by WarnerMedia, PlayStation Vue became one of the first entertainment channels offering individual purchase of channels instead of the multi-channel bundle.
The decision of Sony Interactive Entertainment also coincides with their progression into their newest console, the next-gen PS5. And to state it bluntly, the PS Vue did not gain as much success as their other services.
According to several published reports, the digital TV service being offered by Sony was bleeding money with the PS Vue that the company has considered selling the technology and their subscriber list.
While other digital TV services have millions of subscribers, including Direct TV and YouTube, PS Vue only had a small cut of more or less 500,000 subscribers. PlayStation Vue will be closing its doors on January 30, 2020, though the company did not explain what will happen to already paid subscriptions.