UPDATE 10/29: Sony today announced it will shut down PlayStation Vue on Jan. 30, 2020.
While the company is shutting down its “skinny TV bundle,” Sony Deputy President John Kodera wrote in a blog post that PlayStation users can still access movie and TV content through the PlayStation Store on PS4.
“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,” wrote Kodera.
Original Story 10/25:
PlayStation Vue and its 500,000 subscribers are reportedly up for sale. Sony’s trying to sell the live TV streaming service as it struggles to turn a profit, according to The Information.
In the last year, PlayStation Vue has lost nearly 250,000 subscribers, putting it significantly behind other services such as AT&T Now (formerly DirecTV Now) and Dish Network’s Sling TV. So Sony is exploring the possibility of unloading PlayStation Vue, The Information says.
Sony didn’t do PlayStation Vue any favors with its repeated price increases. As recently as this summer, PlayStation Vue’s most basic plan increased by $5 per month.
However, any deal between Sony and PlayStation Vue’s buyer might not include existing contracts, according to The Information. The status of deals Sony signed with media companies for access to their broadcast and cable channels is unknown. The buyer could end up with the same contracts, but there’s also a possibility they get voided.
In the report, FuboTV gets name-dropped as a potential buyer. Sony and the sports-focused platform engaged in talks about a deal; however, it’s unclear whether or not they’re nearing an agreement. FuboTV also produces original programming in addition to regular channels, and thus PlayStation Vue’s technology might be the most attractive asset up for grabs.
The news comes as several deep-pocketed competitors will arrive in the coming weeks and months to steal additional customers. Apple TV+ will be available on Nov. 1, and Disney+ enters the race less than two weeks after that. From there, the video-streaming industry also gains AT&T’s HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock in 2020.