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Sony is shutting down PlayStation Vue, its live TV bundle.
The company announced the move Tuesday in a blog post in which it acknowledged, “Unfortunately, the highly competitive pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected.”
PlayStation Vue was among a wave of services that launched to provide a bundle of live-streamed TV channels without the hassle of cable. Dish, AT&T, Hulu and YouTube have all developed products as well. And niche offerings like FuboTV and Philo focused on providing a smaller, more focused set of channels.
But it is expensive for these so-called skinny bundles to license channels from entertainment companies, and the market has been slow to develop. AT&T, for instance, lost 195,000 DirecTV Now subscribers during the third quarter.
PlayStation Vue, which will shut down Jan. 30, first launched in 2014 and offers 80 channels. As of May, the service had over 800,000 total subscribers. Vue was made available on PlayStation consoles but was also supported by devices outside the Sony family, including Roku players, Apple TVs and Amazon Fire TVs.
In September, Disney inked a deal with Sony to continue offering its content on the PlayStation Vue platform. The agreement expanded upon the companies’ previous pact and includes Disney’s newly acquired FX and National Geographic networks — which the company attained as part of its 21st Century Fox acquisition earlier this year — as well as ESPN’s new ACC Network. The Information previously reported that Sony was looking to sell off the division, and a shutdown implies that the company couldn’t find a buyer.
“We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish,” reads the blog post. “We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015.”
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