Under the pact, ESPN, ABC-owned local stations, Disney Channel, ABC Family and about a dozen other networks will join PlayStation Vue’s lineup. Local ABC affiliates also will have the opportunity to opt-in to the over-the-top service with their live linear programming. The companies didn’t say when the Disney programming will be available to PlayStation Vue subs.
“This deal demonstrates our continued commitment to offer the best content on TV to PlayStation Vue users,” said Dwayne Benefield, VP and head of PlayStation Vue at Sony Network Entertainment International.
Sony launched PlayStation Vue this past March — with the conspicuous absence of ESPN and other Disney-owned nets.
It’s unclear what held up the deal; Disney and ESPN had previously cut one of the first deals with Dish Network’s Sling TV to make its programming available through the satcaster’s OTT service. One possible sticking point for Disney: With a single PlayStation Vue subscription, users can simultaneously stream content across multiple devices both in and out of the home. Notably, Disney’s pact with Dish allows Sling TV users to stream its networks to only one device at a time.
In addition to live channels, PlayStation Vue will be able to offer a library of video-on-demand content from Disney and ESPN Media Networks, including the ability to catch up on content within three days of air.
Sony has marketed PlayStation Vue as a more advanced service than traditional cable or satellite TV services, with an interface that blends live and on-demand content along with personalized recommendations and discovery tools.
“PlayStation Vue provides a unique way to engage with our content and an opportunity to reach a segment of viewers who want a different kind of television experience,” said Justin Connolly, EVP of affiliate sales and marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “The addition of our content to the PlayStation Vue platform will make the offering more compelling as consumers navigate their video options.”
Sony at launch had deals for PlayStation Vue with CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom and AMC Networks.
PlayStation Vue is currently available for users on PlayStation 4 and PS3 consoles, as well as iPad and iPhone. The service has been launched in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami markets. Select standalone network channels are also available to users via PlayStation Vue’s nationwide a la carte offering.
The Disney channels to be added to the PlayStation Vue service are: ABC-owned stations in New York (WABC), L.A. (KABC), WLS (Chicago), Philadelphia (WPVI) and San Francisco (KGO); ABC Family (to be renamed Freeform in January); Disney Channel; Disney Junior; Disney XD; ESPN; ESPN2; ESPN College Extra; ESPNU; ESPNews; ESPN Deportes; ESPN Classic; ESPN Goal Line; ESPN Buzzer Beater; ESPN Bases Loaded; Fusion; Longhorn Network; and SEC-ESPN Network.