The market for over-the-top delivered live pay TV services continued to evolve over the weekend as Sony revealed that its IP-delivered PlayStation Vue multi-channel video service is now available nationally.

The news of the service, which will limit availability of local live TV channels in most of the new areas, comes just a few weeks after AT&T’s DirecTV revealed plans to expand its direct-to-home satellite TV service with a multi-tiered IP-delivered version targeting homes as well as mobile devices.

In addition to providing live cable TV channels and sports events, the PlayStation Vue service also allows users to record shows to a “cloud DVR” and watch multiple TVs around the house from one account.

Like the forthcoming DirecTV OTT service, PlayStation Vue is not targeting so-called cord-cutters – which is a term used to describe disgruntled cable and satellite TV subscribers looking to drop multi-channel pay-TV services for cheaper alternatives. Instead, they are offering more flexible and more robust OTT solutions for live TV viewable on TVs as well as mobile devices.

Read more on the PlayStation Vue national roll out after the jump:

The PlayStation Vue service recently added ESPN, ABC and Disney channels, pitting it against Sling TV’s skinny TV service, that starts at just $20 a month and targets cash-strapped Millennials with sports fare from ESPN and an assortment of popular standard and International cable channels, as well as the option to add HBO Now and others.

All of the services are offering customers greater flexibility of choices and new pricing options to traditional cable, satellite and telco TV services. The services also provide an easier path to obtaining live TV channels on mobile devices and PCs in addition to traditional TV sets.

Sony’s PlayStation Vue service, which will now expand from 7 to 203 TV designated market areas, will include bundled channel tiers either including or excluding local live TV stations, indicated as “full” or “slim.”

The PlayStation Vue slim packages start at $30 per month. In place of live local TV, they offer on-demand next-day access to Prime Time content from ABC, NBC and Fox. CBS programming is not included at launch, but is expected to be added in live and on-demand versions in select markets later.

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Full PlayStation Vue packages that add live local TV stations are available for an extra $10 per month in seven markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami. Sony said it continues to negotiate to bring local live TV stations to additional markets. “Slim” versions will not be available in those initial seven markets.

The PlayStation channel tiers include:

  • Access Slim ($29.99 per month), offering 55 channels, including live cable TV, movies and sports channels;
  • Core Slim ($34.99 per month), offering 70 channels, including all of the Access Slim channels plus live national and regional sports networks from Fox and Comcast;
  • Elite Slim ($44.99 per month) offering all the channels from Core Slim plus leading movie and entertainment channels.

PlayStation Vue is accessible through PlayStation 4, PS3, Amazon Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick, as well as iPads and iPhones using a PlayStation Vue mobile app.

Current networks supported on the PlayStation Vue service include: AMC Networks, CBS, Discovery Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group, ESPN, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom.

Standalone network channels, including Showtime, Machinima and Fox Soccer Plus, are also available to users nationwide as a la carte offerings.

The PlayStation Vue also includes access to 60-plus OTT TV Everywhere mobile apps from programming partners.

By Greg Tarr


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