Sony Unveils Pricing For PlayStation Vue Streaming Service, Confirming It’s Not Very Cheap

For months now Sony has left the pricing details of its PlayStation Vue streaming television service up to our wandering imaginations. Now the company has all but confirmed previous reports that the service would cost a pretty penny, while announcing its availability in certain areas of the country starting today.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony has made PS Vue available for consumers in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia – that is if they’re willing to shell out $49.99 to $69.99 for the service.

Although the price range for the live channel service comes in lower than the previously reported cost of $60 to $80, it might not be worth cutting the cord for just yet.

While choosing to go with Sony instead of traditional cable might relieve some of the headaches associated with service providers, PS Vue users will still require Internet access. And right now, the company is recommending 3-5 megabits per second for a single stream and 25 mbps for three or four streams, the WSJ reports.

That means PS Vue customers will likely have to pay an additional $30 to $70 for local cable or phone company Internet in order to actually stream TV.

As for the actual content provided by PS Vue, customers will receive a range of 50 to 85 channels, depending on the service tier they choose.

Vue’s cheapest tier of $49.99 offers 50 live broadcast and cable channels. The next tier, referred to as “core,” comes in at $59.99 and offers additional regional sports networks and the Big Ten Network. Finally, the “elite” $69.99 tier adds several smaller channels to the package. Each tier will also have access to Sony’s forthcoming original content programs.

Of course none of the PS Vue packages include Walt Disney Co. channels like ABC or ESPN, as well as premium channels like HBO and Showtime.

However, Sony previously inked deals to offer other highly watched programming from Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Family); Scripps (HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Cooking Channel); and Viacom (BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, VH1).

But for comparison’s sake, the WSJ reports that Time Warner Cable offers all of those channels – including Walt Disney Co. programs – in a 200-channel package at a promotional one-year rate of $49.99.

Executives for Sony say they are currently in talks with other programming companies and plan to offer additional channels in the future.

Despite the relatively hefty cost of PS Vue and a lack of some preferred channels, Sony says PS Vue has several other benefits for cord cutters.

First of all, the company says the service doesn’t include long-term contracts or pay penalties for canceling. It also won’t charge additional fees for up to three streaming outlets in the home, the WSJ reports.

As previously reported, the cloud-based DVR service has no storage limits and no restrictions on overlapping programs. Users can also tag “favorite” shows, giving them access to broadcasts for 28 days.

Additionally, PS Vue gives users access to the previous three days’ worth of “popular programming” so that users who forget to schedule a recording may not have to freak out or wait for a rerun.

Sony Unveils Pricing, Availability of Vue Online TV Service [The Wall Street Journal]

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