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PlayStation Vue Hints at Its Future Plans Post Price Hike


Last week Sony announced that out of 210 markets PlayStation Vue is available in, 203 of them are seeing a price hike of $10 a month. Sony, as you would expect, tried to down play the pricing change as much as possible; however, it quickly lighted up the web.

Now we finally have an official statement from Sony: “The transition to standard pricing for all markets was always part of our roadmap since we launched PlayStation Vue nationwide and began rolling out local broadcast affiliates in markets with Slim plans.” This statement was sent to CNET.

PlayStation Vue does offer the most locals of any live TV streaming service second to Hulu and followed closely by DIRECTV NOW.

Yet many markets still have no local channels; however, that seems like it is about to change. For some time now we have heard that PlayStation Vue was in talks with ABC and NBC to add more locals. It now seems that this will soon be a reality and could be the reason behind the price hikes.

So when will we see more locals on PlayStation Vue?

We have already seen the slow roll out of locals to PlayStation Vue picking up speed. Recently it added more Fox affiliates and that followed Sony adding about 70% of all CBS affiliates.

When will we see more? We don’t know, but the price hike suggests it should be soon. Likely in the next three months before current subscribers see the price jump.

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  • AstroMonster

    As another poster said elsewhere on the site, it would make sense that their goal is to have the locals rolled out over the next 3 months, which would be why the 3 month advance notice of the increase for current customers.

    Anyone who ever reads knew that the slim prices were temporary and that Sony was pushing to add all the locals. Once the networks made the deals with the affiliates so that one on one negotiations with the local affiliates was no longer needed, it was only a matter of time before this happened.

    No other OTT service charges different rates for the same package based on if they have your locals or not.

    A lot of people think Sling does it, but they don’t. The Blue price is the same whether or not they carry your local RSN, NBC, or Fox. Sling’s Orange plan has no locals period, for anyone, so that isn’t the same thing. Even their add-on that includes ABC is still the same price for everyone whether or not you are one of the few metro customers who get it.

    DirectTV Now charges the same whether they carry your local RSN, Fox, NBC, or ABC.

    Vue’s value is still high because they are one of the few to offer the big 4, their DVR system is still the best, they have excellent channel selection (other than Viacom), and they have more app sign ons than anyone.

    In order to be competitive and to draw in cable customers, they have to offer the locals.

    People also need to remember that it takes money to do all these things. Too often consumers are give me give me give me but don’t want to pay anything. A lot of consumers also seem to expect cable quality and features but at OTT rates..that isn’t going to happen.

    If you truly are a cable cutter, any of the big 3 OTT services (DTVN, Sling, Vue) can do an admirable job for you based on your needs.

    • Sunny Rain

      Yes, exactly. Anyone could have seen this is what was happening. It’s always been clear the $10 locals discount was going to go away at some point as more locals got added. But apparently Sling fans took the opportunity to misreport the change and stir up the web against PS Vue

      • AstroMonster

        That seems to happen a lot, doesn’t it

        • Sunny Rain

          Yup

          • AstroMonster

            Heck, how many articles did CCN post here talking about the price increase across the board before posting one clarifying it correctly?

          • Sunny Rain

            i know, right?

          • AstroMonster

            Even going so far as to post an article on switching from Vue to someone else..

            Anyone who thinks Luke is unbiased is a fool.

            He clearly has his own agenda..which is pushing who makes him the most money

            Just like the ridiculous amount of ads on his page.

          • Richard smith

            They still haven’t because there is no price increase.

    • John Burgess

      Sadly, not everyone gets all their local channels…they just get to pay for others to get theirs. Bottom-line, if I am getting a price increase “for local channels”…I should GET said, local channels….all 4.

      I was elite slim (just joined up this month) missed the GO BIG deal (35/month) for PS Vue…not happy. It is summertime, big whoop we got 3 billing cycles…nothing new on anyway (in the summer).

      Yea, the others charge everyone the same…sling is 40 for BOTH packages (15/month less and no more than 25/month for blue, half of PS Vue), DRTVNow offer 3 premiums for $5 each and more channels. Everyone has a different view on and what is important to them. 45/month is about my limit. If I have to lose channels…might as well go with the cheapest.

      Just hope the others jump all this with more deals…I can wait till September (saved $90 in process by cancelling).

      • DM725

        You’ll have the locals by October. If not then legitimate gripe.

        • vesra

          I’m with him, in the locals only. Have not had any added at all. Hopefully they add them. If not, come October I will rethink my options. But, as a whole to this point I have enjoyed being a Vue subscriber. Hopefully that won’t change and my locals will be added. Using the antenna hasn’t been the greatest with my local stations. Would love to have them streamed through Vue and get the clarity that Vue offers.

      • pjsauter

        Yeah, l get my locals OTA, and even though some of them are pretty spotty where I live, I don’t really care if I get them or not. For the $35 a month I’m paying right now, PS Vue is at the top end of what seems worthwhile (for me). Locals or not, $45 is enough to make it no longer worth it. I’ll miss some of the live sports and access to apps, and I have no complaints with the service (other than my Internet is just marginal, so streaming on multiple devices is out for me – but that’s not Vue’s fault), but I lived without it before, and I’m sure I can find another way to squander that $35 a month.

  • Sunny Rain

    This is what I’ve been saying all along. We didn’t even need an official statement from Sony to know what’s going on. Anyone with basic understanding of PS Vue could have easily known what’s happening.

    The way CNET reported the price raise is how news reports are done: purely based on facts without misleading misinformation.

  • yellowcup

    Well, I only get one local (ABC) and not CBS or NBC, so if I have to pay $10 more I’d like those, please.

    • AstroMonster

      Have you read anything at all here?

      You’re not paying anything more for 3 months, by then you should have your locals

    • yellowcup

      To the person who asked if I have read anything at all here – yes, I have – I am aware my price doesn’t go up for three months, and have seen nothing guaranteeing that I will get more locals IN MY SPECIFIC MARKET.

  • Richard smith

    Someone on the Vue forum stated that he was put in the closet market with locals even though his market had none. This could be something that Sony is doing in the meantime to justify the pricing difference.

    • AstroMonster

      I get Philly locals and I live in Delaware…I am 70 miles from Philly.

      All the services do that to me because Delaware doesn’t have affiliates

  • Please be polite and stay on topic about the story. Rude comments can result in a ban and off topic comments will be removed.

  • Dale T

    I get no locals in psvue currently and I’d be really surprised if Sony added our locals to the lineup, really surprised. Even so, I’m pretty sure I’ll be canceling service prior to the $10 price increase. I just don’t watch enough to justify the new price. And the locals, I get those with my antenna, why would I pay another $10 for something I already have? I’d be more sad about it if the roku app was nice, but they haven’t touched that either.

  • stumpy579

    Many of the markets losing the $10 discount have at least one local and some have two or three. Vue is providing the CBS local in at least 70% of markets right now. CBS does not have a free sports app like NBC,FOX and ABC(Espn) so getting that live CBS channel is a big deal. Right now I have a live CBS channel along with ABC,NBC and Fox on demand as well as the apps access. Now there is no need for that $6 CBS All Access and that $10 increase is only $4. The number of markets receiving at least one local with Vue is probably bigger than most realize and I believe most markets will receive their locals within three months. The fact is Vue was doing something no one else would do by giving a discount for having less than four locals and now that they providing locals and removing the discount they are being vilified for it.

  • badnewsblair

    Okay. I feel much better about paying more and getting my locals. I was worried this was just a rate hike.

  • David1970

    I will wait until just before the Oct increase and see what local (if any) channels I get.
    Then I will be ready to move if there is a better deal available. I have the Sling trial now but I will not give up Discovery or Animal Planet. Next trial is DTVN but would like to wait until they have DVR. Doesn’t look good timing wise. May end up staying with Vue.

  • Steven R Phillips

    why it adding local market to me is stupid to begin with. Most everyone having this service already have antenna to pick up local market. Why adding cost for 4 channels when get 30 additional channels with antenna is why people left cable to begin with. People like myself today leaving service for cost reason. Can add free services from apps out there. Local channels joke with much better tech antenna made now. Local channels supposed to be free

    • AstroMonster

      What numbers do you have to prove that “most” people who have this service use antennas?

      That’s just your opinion.

      I can tell you that if you read other blogs and various forums you will see slews of people who want Vue to add locals for them, and people who went with Vue because of them having locals in their area.

      Not everyone can use antennas..not everyone WANTS to use antennas.

    • DillHole

      Just left Vue for price hike. I too have locals OTA and quality is so much better than any streaming. Should have option for those who do not want locals. Only had 1 anyway and never watched it. Still need true ala carte.

      • Daniel

        Totally agree. I’m hoping every time a streaming service raises their prices, people will leave the service. It’s starting to look like cable all over again. Bloated and expensive. Ala carte is the way to go. Can’t wait til someone actually realizes that.

        • Joseph ewing

          If “true” a la carte were economically possible, someone would be doing it and cleaning up.

          But, I am sure these companies have looked at it (and are much smarter than the average Internet Forum Poster), and have determined that the economy of scale just doesn’t work.

          The costs are determined not by the streaming companies, but by the content providers.

          As for the cable comparison, I’m paying half of what I paid before.

        • carl_steve

          Except for the premium channels, cable as we now know it isn’t designed for a la carte. Sony and the other players would have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to make that feasible for non-premium channels. Viability is critical, as most people cite saving money as their main reason for cord cutting.

          Bulk pricing is not unique to TV. The same situation exists with other types of media. For instance, when I buy music on Amazon, it’s cheaper to buy an entire album, rather than a bunch of individual songs.

        • Soyntgo4it

          Sling stinks wth are talkin bout.

          • Daniel

            Sling isn’t for everyone, but it’s the only one that covers all my needs. Not to mention it’s also the cheapest price per channel, even though I have no need for most of the channels they offer.

    • Richard smith

      While I am cancelling because of being forced to pay for locals,they were by far the most asked for channels. Aperantly a lot can’t get them.

      • Joseph ewing

        One of the most reasonable posts I have read on this topic.

        You are cancelling because it’s not in your interest, but recognize that others have the need and are willing to pay for it.

    • pawdog

      I think just going by what I see on various user groups, forums, and subreddits, that plenty of people don’t have access to OTA for a variety of reasons. I’ve been amazed to hear the reasons. Adding locals to streaming is a much in demand feature. I get my locals OTA and still want them included in my streaming. Don’t forget about mobile applications.

      • PRMan

        Hills between me and the towers. My city was one of the first to have cable in California for this very reason.

    • lourdes

      depends were you live, rabbit ears dont work for everyone unfortunately and there’s no professional roof antenna set up like there is for satellite dish like me i wouldn’t know how or if an apartment will even allow it

      • Perhaps not in your area, but a web search certainly turns up some. But yeah, some apartment/condominium buildings and home owner associations (HOAs) have rules about outdoor antennas or plain forbid them.

        • Vegas Steve

          As long as your outdoor antenna is 1 meter or less, the FCC says that HOA’s can’t do anything about them (unless they provide TV service to each person). Same with apartments, although you can’t make holes/mount them to the apartment.

      • Kathy Rust

        Roof antenna set up (for your own home and assuming no HOA restrictions) does not need a “professional”. My husband put ours up, but even better, my attorney son-in-law was able to put his up.

    • Shane

      Actually, no. Despite being near a major city I cannot get locals via antenna anymore. About 4 years ago all the networks reduced their signal strength near me and now only abc comes in clearly. And this would be the same case for q couple million people near me as well. So I disagree with your assessment that most anyone can use an antenna.

      • PRMan

        He said it should be an option like $5 to add locals.
        I can’t get locals either, and I would be good with this. But the networks are forcing them to include everyone and go back to the cable ways.

  • overtimeman

    That’s why I only have our cable companies analog package and use my Roku4(TV Everywhere apps) to watch the next day in 1080p HD.If I unbundle my triple play package and pay for internet only they charge more.By the time I start with add ons I’m still paying a good chunk of the original costs.

  • Dvzk

    No ABC by college football kick off and im out! There are services out there that have all 4 of the major locals I need and I won’t be giggerrigging my tv watch my favorite team live!

  • Chris K.

    Can part of their future plans include removing the name “Playstation” from their service? I had to explain to two more people last night that it’s a standalone TV service that has nothing to do with Playstation games – and they had even seen the commercials.

    • James Arndt

      It would help if they changed the name from Playstation Vue, to just Vue. I know that DirectTV Now has that same problem because, people confuse it with their dish service. I wonder if YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV do as well. However, the biggest problem that I see they have, is no one really knows that they and other TV streaming services exist. If you mention TV streaming services, people really only mention SlingTV. As a whole people don’t know that there are other services out there. By the way, how many of you out there, know that their is another streaming service out there called FubuTV Live?

  • Mario

    If a post hike comes, I’m out. Sling offers less, but at least I’m getting what I pay for. Let’s be honest here please. The hike in prices comes from greed. Please don’t try to spin it as anything else. Greed. My opinion, but you know it plays a role in it. You really think 10 bucks a month is going to kill Sony??? SMH at this nonsense.

    • Joseph ewing

      Yeah those damn companies….wanting to make a profit, and hire employees.

      Evil.

  • Devin Serpa

    Was too expensive before.

    • Richard smith

      Not for what you get

    • DM725

      Disagree

    • Joseph ewing

      Opinions vary.

      “expensive” is a relative term.

  • Devin Serpa

    I think there should be a defining split in the cord cutting community based on definitions.

    Cord Cutting vs Cord Replacement.

    The slim packages are just cord replacement.

    Perhaps a separate website just for showcasing/discussing these packages.

  • seamusoldfield

    I’m done with Vue, going back to Sling. First we lost all the Viacom channels, with no replacements, and no price break. Now this. I have an antenna and don’t need my local channels. Plus, I’m not interested in any of the new channels I’ll be getting in my “upgraded” package. Let’s see, channels I don’t want, high price – seems like this is why I left cable.

    • Shane

      No replacements for Viacom channels is just not true. At the same time that contract was lost several others were added. BBC America comes to mind as one of them, and for me personally that was worth more than all Viacom channels combined. I know there were more but off the top of my head I don’t remember them.

      • PRMan

        “BBC America comes to mind as one of them”

        I’ve seen Star Trek.

      • seamusoldfield

        You probably can’t remember because there was virtually zero communication from Sony.

  • Daniel

    I hope more people start leaving these streaming services every time they hike the prices. Starting to look more and more like cable. Bloat and overpricing. How long will it take before one of these streaming services realizes ala carte should be an option..??

    • DM725

      Dude, it’s a great service even at $39.99. If you live in the NY, CT, NJ area you’re already paying $39.99 with locals.

      • Daniel

        And it’s still sad. Streaming services are supposed to revolutionize the industry. Not join it. Fortunately, we get free locals. But I don’t watch anything on tv but college football. So I break down and pay for Sling during the season and cancel when it’s over.

        I’ll just be glad when i get to purchase only the channels I want, instead of having to pay for 30 channels I don’t care to have just so I can watch football. It really sucks.

        • PRMan

          ESPN would charge you $20 a month for a la carte anyway, so you’re really not paying more.

          • Daniel

            I know, and I’d be willing to pay for what I watch. But I don’t want to pay for what I don’t watch. I don’t need 20 or 30 channels. I need about 3. In fact, I’d rather pay by the game. That would be preferred.

    • Joseph ewing

      Not a chance. There’s no economy of scale in a la carte.

      I know people would just love to purchase only what they want, but if a service really did that, the costs would be greater (to both the company and consumer).

      Another thing to consider is that the content is being consolidated at the upper levels with content companies merging and purchasing each other.

      Keep dreaming though. It’s good for the soul. 🙂

      • Daniel

        It’s your opinion. Scale is a non issue with people wanting a la carte. The pricing also doesn’t matter. I’d rather pay 10 dollars for just the shows I watch ad opposed to 40 for a bloated lineup I don’t care for.

        If you think these companies won’t sell these channels independently per what the customer wants, you’re dreaming. Money talks ultimately.

        So take your on advice about dreaming. And add Ann ego in with it.

        • Joseph ewing

          Where’s you proof that companies will sell these channels independently? There are mergers of content companies, with a move towards consolidating content. Viacom is perfect example. The Discovery networks. Disney.

          Why would they sell just a few at a couple of dollars apiece when they can sell packages at much more?

          There’s no critical mass forcing them to do so. Not even close. Cord cutting has not even cut into 20% of the Cable business which is the king of bundling. The streaming companies are following suit. Like you said, “Money talks ultimately”. And most folks are just find and dandy with their packages.

          “Pricing doesn’t matter”? Try bringing that to a bank and getting a business loan.

          I get that you WANT to purchase individual channels. Others do as well (such as myself).

          But wanting it doesn’t make it so.

          • WEarp

            The business model has never been consumer friendly and seems to have been originally implemented to bleed the cable companies who in turn bled the consumer. I actually watch 21 channels on Vue “core” (10 sports and 11 entertainment). The remaining 40 or so options are of no concern to me. It seems likely that a consumer friendly, or at least neutral, business model would be well received by buyers.That change, however it is approached, is the responsibility of the content packagers and.I would enjoy seeing their ideas on making content choices more consumer oriented.

          • Joseph ewing

            Of course you would like that. I would too. But wanting it doesn’t make it so.

            Such a model creates less revenue for the content owners – who hold the keys to the kingdom. The streaming services are only middle men. They wield little power.

            Public companies – of which most (if not all) of the content holders are – have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to extract maximum value (i.e. profit) for those investors. Fail that responsibility and you’re out while they find someone who will. They are not in business to make you or I happy – unless that goal is in line with theirs.

            They are always going to do what’s best for their investors. And if I were one of those investors, I’d be demanding that too.

  • “When will we see more? We don’t know”

    So then why write a click bait title and empty article about it? Like 90% of articles here, more fake news from CCN (cousin of CNN)

  • Darrell Patterson

    So what if I don’t want locals? I have a Tivo for locals & don’t want them from any other source. I will not pay for it, goodbye PS Vue.

    • DM725

      But you pay for TiVo right?

      • Vegas Steve

        Might have already paid (lifetime). I did that, it works great for locals. Having invested in that, I sure don’t want a service that shoves those channels down my throat for a higher price.

      • Darrell Patterson

        No, my Tivo Roamio came with lifetime service. I bought a refurb 500 MB unit for just $179, best investment I ever made.

  • Skip Rose

    203 our of 210, seems like the majority…

    • Vegas Steve

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I get no locals here and don’t want them as my antenna works fine.

  • DM725

    By the time the 3 months of previous slim pricing is increased for people that were already subscribers, you will have CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC.

  • Trojan Warrior

    No reason they couldn’t have kept the slim packages in place. Offer the locals to those who want them and leave the slim packages for those who don’t want to pay extra for channels that are free OTA. Instead, they’ve pulled a classic cable company move by forcing unwanted channels on their customers.

  • JSatch

    Don’t need locals. Thanks.

  • Bill Eastman

    Since tgey said “The transition to standard pricing for all markets was always part of our roadmap since we launched PlayStation Vue nationwide “, they could have let their customers know. Dropping stations and raising cost isn’t how to gain or keep subscribers. I was with them until Viacom channels got pulled. By coincidence DIRECTV NOW launched around the same time. Been with DIRECTV NOW sance launch. Yes there were a few problems at launch but now just waiting on dvr.

  • They have 3 months to convince me not to cancel and go somewhere else. Adding CBS would probably help but I am not sure if that will be enough.

    • carl_steve

      To those who vow to leave Vue…..if you think you’ll never see price hikes or loss of channels at Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, etc., then you’re probably fooling yourselves. The greed originates with the content providers, then gets passed on to everyone else.

      To those who think Vue is becoming Cable 2.0…..doing business with Sony is NOTHING like what I went through with my former cable provider, not even close.

      Streaming TV has sparked an enormous increase in bandwidth usage. What will the Vue haters do when the ISPs start charging more for Internet service? Who will they blame then?

      • rjdriver

        Right you are, carl_steve. Price increases will be coming to Sling and Direct TV Now eventually. The only reason the content providers agreed to terms with any of these services was to get some of the cord cutters back to watching commercials again, or to have an ad filled, cable like service available for those considering the cut.

        As they always have, the TV networks, or rather their conglomerate parent companies, still hold all the cards in this game. Which is why Netflix and Amazon started making their own original content a few years ago.

  • carl_steve

    I have exponentially more reception problems with digital over-the-air broadcasts than I ever did with analog TV. The fact that I now have 10 times more OTA channels to choose from compared to the analog days is no consolation when reception problems prevent me from watching them. I’ve long suspected that I would have to pay someday to correct the FCC’s flawed implementation of the digital standard.

    I started subscribing to Vue in March 2016. Sony has been adding network channels that entire time, and now they’re following suit with locals. The claim that the Viacom 13 were not replaced is misleading.

    It would sweeten the deal if CBS All Access were included in the new channel line-up. I would prefer not to pay an extra $6 to $10 per month to watch the new Star Trek series, among other shows.

  • carl_steve

    This article gives some background about the price hike. There’s more to pricing and packaging the channel line-ups than what meets the eye.

    http://www.techhive.com/article/3207539/streaming-services/the-unpleasant-reality-behind-playstation-vues-recent-price-hike.html

    The article also explains why true a la carte probably won’t happen. Many of the channels (cable and broadcast) are owned by a single company (Disney, Fox, Turner, Viacom, etc.). The owners won’t let cable, satellite, and streaming operators split up the channels.

    The article also criticizes Sony’s handling of the price hike announcement (well deserved criticism).

  • Soyntgo4it

    Staying don’t care what people say cable suck you cancel you get it will cancellation FEES…. NO CONTRACTS WITH STREAMING SERVICES. Sucks for those going to cable again.

  • Kathy Rust

    So, if there is going to be a price hike in our area we would be notified? Or should we just watch for a jump in charges?

    • carl_steve

      I received an e-mail from Sony on July 11 notifying me of the increase. That was several days after it was announced in the news media. For new customers, the increase was effective July 6. If you’re on one of the Slim plans, the increase will start “three billing cycles after the July 6 price change announcement.” That’s a quote from the Vue FAQ page. Here’s the link:

      https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/faq/?emcid=em-vu-111462#updates

  • carl_steve

    Here’s an interesting development. Sony will be offering Vue to small cable companies. The two articles I found didn’t mention specifics, such as channel line-ups, prices, availability of local channels, etc. Sort of makes you wonder if we (cord cutters) are going in circles. The links to the articles follow.

    https://consumerist.com/2017/07/26/today-in-streaming-tv-playstation-vue-comes-to-cable-facebook-tv-coming-soon-directv-now-grows/

    http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/sony-playstation-vue-small-cable-nctc-1202504562/