This week, Sony’s PlayStation Vue virtual pay-TV service made its long-expected jump to a nationwide offering, after percolating in a handful of launch cities for the past several months.
Adoption of Sony’s PlayStation Vue Cloud TV service at $50 a month apparently has been under whelming enough that it’s prompted Sony to drop the price 20% to $40 – and add more content.
On its PlayStation Vue blog, the company today announced “a big boost in live sports, family, and primetime TV programming. Added to the platform’s line up were a batch of Disney and ESPN Media Networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, Disney Channel, and more.
The recipe for a successful – or at least a popular – over-the-top (OTT) or subscription video on-demand (SVOD) is a relatively simple one:
Cord cutting over? Hardly.
For the first time since Verizon and AT&T launched their TV services in 2006, the Top 6 pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost subscribers for a full year. If that’s not indication enough of the change in the market, the somewhat murky subscriber numbers delivered by those companies for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 may be making the numbers look less awful than they actually are.
The growth of SVOD services like Netflix, Amazon and, to a much lesser extent, Hulu have inured us to massive subscriber growth numbers. Netflix routinely adds 5 million or more subs a quarter, Amazon could have as many as 50 million subscribers to its Prime service, many of whom likely use its Prime Instant Video product and Hulu reportedly has about 10 million subs.
It might be a little early to hold your breath for this one, but ESPN is considering its streaming options. John Skipper, chief of the sports network, confirmed published reports that it’s exploring deals with Amazon and Apple, among others, but said ESPN won't be offered as a standalone product.
In August, Cablevision and CBS agreed to a comprehensive multi-year carriage agreement that included the stipulation that the operator would be the first MVPD partner to live stream the CBS signal and Showtime. That’s a done deal now, as Cablevision's Optimum TV subscribers can now watch CBS programs in all dayparts – daytime, primetime and late night – online and on mobile devices… as long as they’re in a markets served by a CBS-owned stations (ie.
After a nearly two-year planning and execution process, youth-oriented BBC Three Tuesday launched as a Cloud TV channel, turning off its conventional broadcast feed.
Vodafone Ireland has rolled out TV services in Ireland, enabling viewers to catch up, record and restart programs at any point, and also have included a dedicated Netflix button on their remote control.
Vodafone TV is a premium service available from €40 per month to all new and existing Vodafone Home customers who subscribe to Vodafone Broadband with speeds of at least 40mbps.
Sling TV is expected to pass 2 million subscribers by the end of the year, a pretty heady achievement for an over-the-top service that has yet to hit its content groove.
The Dish Network unit had just 240,000 subscribers at the end of the first half of 2015, and added – perhaps – another 155,000 by the end of Q3.
With its Netflix, Hulu and Tribune Media Co. deals all approaching expiration, CW is likely the next network to be going over the top.
A report this week in Bloomberg cites anonymous sources as saying the network’s owners, Time Warner and CBS, may make the channel, which has a strong following among younger viewers, into a hybrid, offering a live streaming version as well as a traditional broadcast channel.