PlayStation Vue Adding HBO & Cinemax For $15/Month… Each

Since its launch, Sony’s PlayStation Vue live-TV streaming service has provided cord-cutters the closest thing to a replacement for cable. One thing Vue has lacked is premium services, with Showtime currently the marquee add-on offering. Now both HBO and Cinemax are coming to Vue, but not cheaply.

HBO announced this morning that both its flagship premium channel and Cinemax will launch on Vue ahead of the Oct. 2 premiere of Westworld. Additionally, Vue users who subscribe to HBO will get online on-demand access to HBO Now.

For Cinemax, this is a big step, as it was the one piece of the HBO pie that had not yet been available online without a cable subscription. The channel has long offered a Max Go streaming app, but that requires that you login through a participating pay-TV provider.

So what’s the catch? First, there’s the price. While a number of pay-TV providers bundle HBO and Cinemax together, or offer a discount for subscribing to both networks, Vue subscribers will have to pay $15 each for HBO or Cinemax.

Thus, subscribing to both will run you an additional $30. For Vue users subscribing to the most basic tier of service, you’re doubling your monthly bill but only adding two channels.

Compare that to the $11/month rate ($9/month for PlayStation Plus members) that Vue charges for Showtime. Yes, HBO has won a lot more awards than Showtime (which still has a lot of Dexter-related atoning to do), but Cinemax has only recently begun offering well-regarded original content and may have trouble convincing Vue users that it’s worth $15/month.

Additionally, while the HBO subscription gets you HBO Now access on all devices, the same $15/month rate for Cinemax only gets you access to the live feed of the network and on-demand content through the Vue app. HBO confirms to Consumerist that access to the Max Go app is not included in this rate.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.