Sony Playstation vue ESPN
Courtesy of Disney and ESPN Media Networks

Sony has chopped monthly fees for the Internet-delivered PlayStation Vue pay-TV packages as much as 20% — at the same time it is adding ESPN and other Disney networks to the lineup.

The company reduced the price of PlayStation Vue’s three plans reduced by $10 each, for both new and existing customers. The Access package with about 60 channels is now $39.99 per month; Core, with 75 channels including regional sports networks, is $44.99; and Elite, with 100-plus channels including movie and entertainment channels, is $54.99.

Asked for an explanation of the price drop, a Sony rep said PlayStation Vue has experienced “strong momentum” and that the launch of Disney and ESPN Media Networks along with the price reduction “makes PlayStation Vue an even stronger value for consumers.”

But the move suggests PlayStation Vue has had a tough time attracting customers since launching last March — especially in the face of competition from Dish Network’s Sling TV, which starts at $20 per month and has included ESPN and ESPN2 from the get-go. Meanwhile, AT&T on Tuesday announced plans to launch DirecTV Now, a competing over-the-top pay TV package, later this year.

In any event, Sony is banking on the price cuts and the addition of ESPN, Disney and five ABC stations to goose sales. In addition, PlayStation Vue lets subscribers access multiple streams at once (five simultaneous streams, including three mobile devices outside the home) whereas Sling TV is limited to one. According to Disney and ESPN, the PlayStation Vue deal marks the first time its networks will be available with multiple streams and cloud-based DVR. Disney/ESPN and Sony announced their deal for the OTT service in November.

ABC local stations will be added to all PlayStation Vue plans in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco starting Wednesday. Sony plans to add ABC video-on-demand programming for Dallas and Miami markets at a later date.

The PS Vue Access package will include ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Freeform (formerly ABC Family). ESPNU, ESPNews and SEC Network will be on the Core tier, while Fusion is available only in the Elite package.

In addition, the following channels will be added to PlayStation Vue at a later date: ESPN3, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, Longhorn Network, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Classic. Users also will have access to apps from Disney and ESPN Media Networks, including WatchESPN, by logging in with their PlayStation Network email address and password.

PlayStation Vue is currently available in the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami TV markets. The service is accessible on PlayStation 4 and PS3 consoles; Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick; Google Chromecast; and Apple’s iPad and iPhone.

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