Sony inks deal with Disney, will bring ESPN & ABC to Vue streaming TV service

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited November 2015
Sony's Vue subscription TV service, which is available on the company's PlayStation game consoles as well as Apple's iPad, will gain access to Disney-owned channels including live sports from ESPN, it was announced on Thursday.




The new deal also includes locally owned ABC affiliates, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and the rest of the Disney and ESPN Media Networks library. Subscribers will be able to play multiple streams from one account and watch on-demand content.

Sony Vue launched earlier this year as a new option for cord cutters via its PlayStation game console lineup. As of June, it also offers live TV for users of Apple's iPad.

The Vue iPad app offers live and on-demand access to shows, movies and sports, but live programming from ESPN was a key missing piece until Thursday's announcement. Vue allows shows and channels to be marked as favorites, and tagging a show will keep its most recent content saved in the cloud for up to 28 days.

Rather than opting for a base lineup of channels at lower costs, Sony Vue aims to be a full-fledged cable lineup replacement, with more than 50 chanenls starting at $50 per month. That's in contrast to Dish's Sling TV, which starts at $20 per month and also includes ESPN.




Disney's agreement with Sony Vue is relevant to Apple for a few reasons: Most importantly, Apple is believed to be working on its own subscription television service, which it is rumored to debut at some point in 2016. A main sticking point between Apple and content owners is said to be price --?Apple would like to charge $40 per month, but rights holders think that's too little.

Disney's agreement is also noteworthy because of the company's close relationship with Apple. Disney-owned content, including shows on ABC, have historically been quick to embrace new Apple services and platforms, thanks in part to the fact that Laurene Powell Jobs is the company's largest shareholder. Disney CEO Bob Iger also serves on Apple's board of directors.

"This deal demonstrates our continued commitment to offer the best content on TV to PlayStation Vue users," said Dwayne Benefield, vice president and head of PlayStation Vue. "The addition of Disney and ESPN's primetime programming and live marquee sports to our portfolio ensures subscribers will have access to the most popular network programming on television today.




"We're also proud to be the first Internet-based pay TV service to offer Disney's networks with the streaming features that set PlayStation Vue apart from the industry, making TV viewing a more enjoyable experience for the whole household."

Specifics on the Disney-Sony partnership, including launch timing and any potential pricing adjustments, were not made available as part of Thursday's announcement. The following networks will be added to PlayStation Vue through the new agreement:
  • ABC Owned Stations Group
  • ABC Family (becoming 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
  • SEC-ESPN Network
"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, executive vice president of of Affiliate Sales & Marketing at 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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Vue is Sony's AppleTV.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,291member
    More choices and options are good for everyone.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,274member
    That's somewhat close to the Disney/ESPN package Sling carries.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member

    This is huge. Live sports is one of the last reasons not to cord-cut. If I can get ESPN on my iPad over cellular, I can tell Comcast to go pound sand when (not if) they email me that my data is being capped.

  • Reply 5 of 37

    If Apple's new TV package can bring me live NFL & NHL games, I'm pretty much sold on it. That's the only thing I really miss about my cable package.

  • Reply 6 of 37
    If Apple's new TV package can bring me live NFL & NHL games, I'm pretty much sold on it. That's the only thing I really miss about my cable package.

    Same here. NHL would be huge. In fact college football/basketball with pro rugby would be the ultimate wet dream. Lol
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jbishop1039 View Post

     

    If Apple's new TV package can bring me live NFL & NHL games, I'm pretty much sold on it. That's the only thing I really miss about my cable package.




    I pay for NHL GameCenter, but the blackout restrictions are beyond ridiculous. If an out-of-market team is on the NHL Network and you don't have that channel (or cable in general), you're out of luck. Also, the feeds show zero pre- or postgame coverage. Of course, that's still better than the NFL, where DirecTV is your only subscription option.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    I pay for NHL GameCenter, but the blackout restrictions are beyond ridiculous. If an out-of-market team is on the NHL Network and you don't have that channel (or cable in general), you're out of luck. Also, the feeds show zero pre- or postgame coverage. Of course, that's still better than the NFL, where DirecTV is your only subscription option.




    Yeah I have GameCenter too. Blackouts are crazy but at least it's free with my phone contract. I just use one of those unblocking services to change my DNS servers. Never miss a Jets game now! :)

  • Reply 9 of 37
    So does this mean I can watch Monday Night Football live on my TV using Airplay from my iPad? If not, than this is just more of the same old thinking of a business model that I have no interest in.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    kent909 wrote: »
    So does this mean I can watch Monday Night Football live on my TV using Airplay from my iPad? If not, than this is just more of the same old thinking of a business model that I have no interest in.

    I got SlingTV which has ESPN and one can Airplay it to the Apple TV.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So what is Apple waiting for? Local affiliates? Are they going to have some bundle that no one else has? DirecTV is adding more and more channels available for live viewing via their iPad app. What happens once they (or Dish) get the ability to stream ESPN anywhere? I'm not convinced by this whole cord cutting argument. What people really want is the ability to watch whatever they want wherever they are on any device. Once you start adding up all these different subscription services you're getting pretty close to your cable bill. And since ala carte is basically a pipe dream I'm not really interested in these skinny bundles. They still choose my channels for me but give me less of them. How do I know that an ?TV skinny bundle is going to have the channels I watch most?
  • Reply 12 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    I pay for NHL GameCenter, but the blackout restrictions are beyond ridiculous. If an out-of-market team is on the NHL Network and you don't have that channel (or cable in general), you're out of luck. Also, the feeds show zero pre- or postgame coverage. Of course, that's still better than the NFL, where DirecTV is your only subscription option.


    Wow that is ridiculous. The whole point of these sports league packages is to follow teams that aren't in your local market. 

  • Reply 13 of 37
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So what is Apple waiting for? Local affiliates? Are they going to have some bundle that no one else has? DirecTV is adding more and more channels available for live viewing via their iPad app. What happens once they (or Dish) get the ability to stream ESPN anywhere? I'm not convinced by this whole cord cutting argument. What people really want is the ability to watch whatever they want wherever they are on any device. Once you start adding up all these different subscription services you're getting pretty close to your cable bill. And since ala carte is basically a pipe dream I'm not really interested in these skinny bundles. They still choose my channels for me but give me less of them. How do I know that an ?TV skinny bundle is going to have the channels I watch most?

    You hit the nail on the head.

     

    In the end the cost out of your pocket will be about the same, the only difference is you will pay for what you want not everything else as well. You may have more choices, at about the same cost but paying the bill to 3 to 5 difference companies. The only people I know saving money are those who have a limited viewing habits. If you have a diverse viewing interestes it is hard to move away from Cable or Satellite. In a house where I have 4 people with very different viewing interests and we not a big sports house. We watch a few sports from time to time but not worth paying for dedicated sports channels. I have been unable to fully replace what I have without it costing more to meet everyone's needs.

     

    The biggest cord cutters are younger generations who only have to satisfy themselves. The funny part, when I was in my 20's and very active I did not subscribe to cable, I did over the air and rentend VHS movies at the corner store. Even when I had kids still did the same until my kids got in school and they came home asking who sponge bob was and why couldn't they watch sponge bob verse Mister Rogers or Big Bird. At that point I got satellite and had it ever since.

     

    I'll give a good example, I have PLEX which runs on my NAS and it serves up all my Video content to all my devices in my house. They recently add streaming channels like TBS. I added it to my list of services since I like TBS shows. I saw they had Mr Robot on it and I missed watching the show from the beginning, so I subsribe to the series. But the series was not complete and the shows all had Spanish sub-titles. So Plex can stream cable channel content as long as you're willing to accept it with Spanish sub-titles. This is why it is all screwed up. Even Apple offering has some live and some ondemand but itis not all complete.

     

    This is the problem which has not been solved as of yet because the content owners do not want to loose what they have which is control over who can watch and when and how much they can make off it. Disney is the master of this with the classic hits, they only relase them every so many years in movie threaters, limited release on VHS and now DVD and has not put any of them on digital format.

  • Reply 14 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So what is Apple waiting for? Local affiliates? Are they going to have some bundle that no one else has? DirecTV is adding more and more channels available for live viewing via their iPad app. What happens once they (or Dish) get the ability to stream ESPN anywhere? I'm not convinced by this whole cord cutting argument. What people really want is the ability to watch whatever they want wherever they are on any device. Once you start adding up all these different subscription services you're getting pretty close to your cable bill. And since ala carte is basically a pipe dream I'm not really interested in these skinny bundles. They still choose my channels for me but give me less of them. How do I know that an ?TV skinny bundle is going to have the channels I watch most?

    You can already stream ESPN with DirecTV. I just looked at the DirecTV app and all the ESPN channels are there for live streaming. I agree with your assessment of a la carte programming. That's what chord cutters want. Once you start paying for all these specific channels, cost will probably be higher than cable/satellite. 

  • Reply 15 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    Wow that is ridiculous. The whole point of these sports league packages is to follow teams that aren't in your local market. 




    The NHL was sued over their GameCenter blackout restrictions, and earlier this year they reached a settlement where you can now buy a single-team subscription (rather than league-wide) for a small discount. Hilariously, this settlement did absolutely nothing to revise the blackout policies in any way whatsoever — it's simply a cheaper plan for fans who follow one team. To further rub salt in the wound, in the terms of the settlement, the NHL only agrees to offer this single-team subscription option for a few years, not indefinitely.

     

    To no one's surprise, disgruntled fans have created a very popular, illegal, invite-only streaming alternative to GameCenter, aptly named "RageCenter."

  • Reply 16 of 37
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    You can already stream ESPN with DirecTV. I just looked at the DirecTV app and all the ESPN channels are there for live streaming. I agree with your assessment of a la carte programming. That's what chord cutters want. Once you start paying for all these specific channels, cost will probably be higher than cable/satellite.


    partially true, you can see all ESPN content as long as you're on your home network and they limit to some content outside you home network.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

    partially true, you can see all ESPN content as long as you're on your home network and they limit to some content outside you home network.


    Actually you can watch ESPN off your local network. I was just actually watching CFB Daily. I'm away from home right now. 

     

    EDIT: It's been this way ever since Disney and Directv made a new deal a while back. I'll watch MNF on my phone when I'm traveling or other shows. 

  • Reply 18 of 37
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    You are only thinking about the CURRENT situation.


    Your assuming content owners will change how they do business. Keep in mind one of the biggest content owns has no interested in seeing things change and they are the ones slowing most of it down and that company is Comcast. I know the industry and know it well I worked in it and know what the plans are for the future, Yes Apple is trying to disrupt it and so are others but we been at for 15 yrs and it no better experence today, if anything it is worse because you have to deal with muliply technologies and companies. Today I pay 4 bills to get content in my house 10 yrs ago it was one bill so it not getting easier it is getting worse.

     

    As I said it is easy when it just you and may be another person in your house who have similar viewing habits, when you add kids to the mix it becomes complicated. I also have threater room in my house I built and the complexity of getting all the connent to the big scream is a nightmare unless you willing to spend $1000's to put in a control system even then it does not always work.

     

    I personally was hoping Apple (steve) in fact solved the problem and there was plenty of information that Apple did solve it and it was part of the TWC deal that fell apart when Comcast jumped in the middle of it.

     

    Trust me I looking to the future, and I do not see the problem with content ownser getting solved any time soon.

  • Reply 19 of 37
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    Actually you can watch ESPN off your local network. I was just actually watching CFB Daily. I'm away from home right now.

     

    EDIT: It's been this way ever since Disney and Directv made a new deal a while back. I'll watch MNF on my phone when I'm traveling or other shows.


    i am looking at my Ipad right now an only see 2 ESPN channels which I can view live on my IPAD on the work network, At home I have more ESPN channels so there are limits to way can be watch away from home. I give you the list ever year has been growning Directv has been allowing more and more content to be streamed away from home.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    sog35 wrote: »
    maestro64 wrote: »
     
    Your assuming content owners will change how they do business. Keep in mind one of the biggest content owns has no interested in seeing things change and they are the ones slowing most of it down and that company is Comcast. I know the industry and know it well I worked in it and know what the plans are for the future, Yes Apple is trying to disrupt it and so are others but we been at for 15 yrs and it no better experence today, if anything it is worse because you have to deal with muliply technologies and companies. Today I pay 4 bills to get content in my house 10 yrs ago it was one bill so it not getting easier it is getting worse.

    As I said it is easy when it just you and may be another person in your house who have similar viewing habits, when you add kids to the mix it becomes complicated. I also have threater room in my house I built and the complexity of getting all the connent to the big scream is a nightmare unless you willing to spend $1000's to put in a control system even then it does not always work.

    I personally was hoping Apple (steve) in fact solved the problem and there was plenty of information that Apple did solve it and it was part of the TWC deal that fell apart when Comcast jumped in the middle of it.

    Trust me I looking to the future, and I do not see the problem with content ownser getting solved any time soon.


    How many subscribers does Comcast have?
    How many does DirectTV have?
    How many does Time Warner have?

    If AppleTV has a user base larger than the cable companies the content providers will have to give in to their demands.  

    Again you are thinking with the mind set of the current situation.  If Apple has 50 million AppleTV users they can change the entire industry.  

    And Comcast can't block Apple to content if the other broadcasters agree to terms (ABC, CBS, FOX).  That was part of deal with buying a cable company.

    That's ridiculous. Just because Apple has a large user base doesn't mean they'll subscribe to a TV service. You can say that DirecTV has a potential user base of 300 million because their footprint covers the entire US.
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