Making a significant move in the price-sensitive—and now highly competitive—realm of virtual MVPD services, Sony has upped the price of its base tier to $40 a month across its footprint.
As noted by CNET, Sony had been marketing a $30-a-month “Slim” package in most parts of its footprint, save seven major markets, in which the base tier was the $40-a-month “Access” package.
“On July 6, 2017, all PlayStation Vue ‘Slim’ plans transitioned to PlayStation Vue’s standard plans for new customers nationwide. Subscribers who have enrolled in a Slim plan prior to July 6, 2017, will be able to keep their current price for at least three billing cycles, unless the customer makes changes to their plan,” Sony spokeswoman Mary Taing told FierceCable.
“The transition to standard pricing for all markets was always part of our roadmap since we launched PlayStation Vue nationwide and began rolling out local broadcast affiliates in markets with Slim plans. We look forward to continuing the momentum for PlayStation Vue, which delivers a better TV experience with best-in-class features and no long-term contracts,” Taing added.
Sony is claiming a market-leading position in the area of broadcast-affiliate sign-ups, touting at least one ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC station in markets covering 78% of the U.S. population.
The two-year-old Vue service counts as an established player in a vMVPD market that has swelled to include, just in the last seven months, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu Live. The $40 base-tier price is undercut by $35-a-month pricing for DirecTV Now and YouTube TV. Market leader Sling TV prices its base package at $20 a month.
It should be noted that Vue’s Access package is far more robust than the base Sling, which only includes a handful of major cable networks. Access features nearly 50 channels, including the Big Four broadcast networks.