Sony is said to be looking for a buyer for PlayStation Vue amid an increasingly crowded streaming industry, nearly five years after the internet TV service was launched as one of the first alternatives to traditional cable.
Sony tapped Bank of America Merrill Lynch several months ago to explore a potential sale of PlayStation Vue, which will include the technology and a subscriber base of about 500,000 households, The Information reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Sony is said to have approached at least one potential buyer, namely FuboTV, a sports streaming service, but talks have not advanced, according to one source.
PlayStation Vue, which Sony is looking to sell for a price in the “tens of millions,” is losing money despite raising the prices of its bundles several times due to the high costs of content. Sony believes that it is paying more compared to rivals like Hulu or DirecTV because it has less leverage as it does not have as big of a library of content on its own.
PlayStation Vue most recently increased its packages by $5 in July, making it one of the most expensive ways to access live TV online with bundles ranging from $50 per month to $85 per month. The service, however, offers some unique features, including the ability to view five simultaneous streams and up to 10 different user profiles for each account. The streaming service is the only one that allows pause, rewind, and fast-forward on all channels and, contrary to popular belief, is compatible with a slew of devices beyond the PlayStation gaming console.
For PlayStation 4 owners, PlayStation Vue is the only internet TV service available as Sony has so far blocked competitors such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu’s live TV service from working on the console. This may change if the sale pushes through though.
If it succeeds, Sony may have picked a good time to offload PlayStation Vue, as the likes of Disney+, Apple TV+, and AT&T’s HBO Max are set to launch soon. With these services investing heavily in exclusive content, Sony’s struggling service will likely find itself trailing even more competitors in a cutthroat industry.
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