An executive of Sony Corp. confirmed in a press interview on Wednesday that the company will roll out its web-based PlayStation Vue streaming service to customers throughout the New York, Chicago and Philadelphia markets within the next two weeks after conducting limited, invitation-only trials that began last November.
Vue follows the introduction of DISH Network’s Sling TV service as the latest online video distribution (OVD) service to appear in the U.S. market. Vue, SlingTV and similar OVD services are targeted to the growing number of “cord cutters” and “cord nevers” who have refused or canceled traditional cable TV subscriptions in favor of viewing free or low-cost programming that is offered online. Although customers must access Vue through the Sony PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 gaming consoles, Andrew House, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, told a Wall Street Journal reporter that the company will extend the service eventually to Apple iOS mobile devices and to other Sony and non-Sony devices.
The Vue service includes 75 channels from a variety of programmers that include Viacom, NBCUniversal, Discovery, CBS and Fox. While Sony has yet to announce a deal with Disney, the owner of the popular ESPN sports network, House confirmed that discussions with other prospective program partners are “ongoing and are moving forward positively.” Prices for Vue have yet to be disclosed. Welcoming his company’s launch plans, House told reporters that “PlayStation Vue has a great potential to help complete the redefinition of what the PlayStation platform is all about.”