Bad news if you’re a cord cutter who subscribes to PlayStation Vue – in three months, you’re going to need to find a new streaming company.
On Tuesday, The Streamable reported that Vue will be shutting down, effective as of January 30, 2020. That’s three days before the Super Bowl, so Vue customers should attempt to have a solution lined up before then instead of waiting until the last minute. Last week, it was widely reported that Sony was looking to sell off Vue, but those talks apparently went nowhere.
Here’s the note that Sony Interactive Entertainment Deputy President John Kodera sent to subscribers.
Over four years ago, we made a bold decision to change the rules and revolutionize the traditional TV-viewing experience in the U.S. with PlayStation Vue. We set the bar high and sought to innovate an established industry by delivering a modern TV experience. By completely rethinking live and on demand television, we offered an incredible user experience that allowed viewers to discover and watch content in completely new ways.
Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.
Vue raised its price last summer, and did the same again this summer, each time by $5. It was one of the most expensive streaming services, with the top-tier package clocking in at a painful $85 and the entry-level plan costing $45. The service launched nationwide in March of 2016, and while the networks it carried and some of its features (including multi-view) were widely praised, Vue failed to attract the amount of subscribers Sony was looking for. The latest report back in May had Vue at around 800,000 subs (though that number was rumored to be as low as 500,000), well behind cheaper competitors YouTube TV, Hulu Live, and AT&T/DirecTV Now (which is having its own issues with subscriber losses).
Earlier this year, AA judged which streaming service would be the best for a sports fan, and Vue was named as an honorable mention behind YouTube TV. I’m pretty surprised that Sony couldn’t find a buyer for Vue, and its disappointing to see a well-liked streaming service (especially one that was ideal for sports fans) bite the dust.