A number of channels will no longer be available through Sony’s PlayStation Vue streaming service come Friday, the company announced today.
The news was shared in a PlayStation Blog post that starts out with some positive news regarding the additions of channels such as BBC America and NBA TV. It also announced that Vice and more local CBS and Fox stations are on the way.
But the announcement takes an unfortunate turn when Vue vice president Dwayne Benefield reveals that all Viacom-owned networks are leaving Vue as of 12:01 AM ET on Friday, November 11. The Viacom stations mentioned in the post include Comedy Central, MTV, and Spike, but Viacom’s reach extends much further–it also owns Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, TV Land, CMT, and Logo TV, not to mention the various spinoffs of these channels (Nick Jr., MTV2, and so on). That represents a pretty significant portion of the channels you’ll find in Vue’s highest-priced, Ultra tier.
The move was explained by Benefield thusly: “As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.” He goes on to highlight the other networks that have been added to Vue since its launch, including HBO, NFL Network, and Disney stations such as ESPN and ABC.
There was no word regarding a price drop to account for the sudden loss of so many channels.
It is somewhat disconcerting to see such a significant departure from Vue, and for it come on such short notice–we’re hearing about this less than than 72 hours before the change will be made. Perhaps not coincidentally, Benefield’s post references the fact that there is no long-term commitment for subscribing to Vue.
Vue debuted in some US markets in 2015 before launching in full this March. Prices have been adjusted a number of times as platform availability and the channel lineup changed. In July, it reportedly topped the 100,000 subscribers mark, and just recently, support was added for Android TV devices, followed soon after by PCs.