Sony has announced plans to shutter the PlayStation Vue live TV streaming service in January 2020, due to climate within the highly competitive Pay TV environment. Instead, Sony is going all-in on its core gaming business.
The company says the TV industry had been slower to change that it had envisioned and so is throwing in the towel. Rumours this week had suggested Sony was looking for a buyer for the streaming service, but the decision has been made to call it quits.
In many ways PlayStation Vue was a pioneer in live TV streaming in the US, when it launched back in 2015. It was among the first cord-cutting alternatives to satellite and cable to offer cloud DVR, local channels and local sports networks and the ability to log into individual network’s standalone apps.
That’s a model now followed by the likes of Hulu Live TV, which is using its existing customer base to branch out into live television.
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In a blog post announcing the decision to leave tv streaming behind, Sony didn’t mention the incoming threat of Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and HBO Max, but that may have entered the firm’s thinking.
The company said: “Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.
“We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish. We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015.”