Sony expands PlayStation Vue to Dallas and Miami; reach still 'low,' analyst says

Sony has rolled out its PlayStation Vue IP-based pay-TV service to Dallas and Miami. The expansion, announced in a Sony blog post, puts the service in seven markets, with New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles seeing previous deployments.

Sony began a phased rollout of the pay-TV service, which operates on PlayStation 3 and 4 gaming consoles, in March, focusing on major cities. Sony executives say the platform's growth has exceeded their expectations, but they haven't released any subscriber numbers to date. Analysts, meanwhile, have been much more pre-occupied with trying to decipher how many consumers are using Sling TV and HBO Now -- there is no guesstimate as to how many users have signed on to Vue.

However, when asked to estimate Vue's reach by FierceCable, Diffusion Group Senior Analyst Joel Espelien said, "Low."

Vue offers three tiers of programming ranging in monthly price from $50 to $80. In late March, Sony announced the addition of AMC Networks channels to the service's basic tier. But there hasn't been much in the way of major programming announcements since that time. Notably, the service is still without ESPN, ABC or any other channels associated with a Walt Disney Company licensing deal.

Sony reps have not yet responded to FierceCable's inquiries as to whether talks with Disney are ongoing, or what the company's plan is for further rollout in 2015.

Vue has been criticized for demanding a price point that's not differentiated much from traditional pay-TV.

"Paying for Vue in addition to paying an Internet service provider creates a total cost that approaches what a consumer might pay for both video and Internet from a cable company," CNET said in a March review. "Vue will also indicate how much the PlayStation base of users is interested in entertainment coming all through one source."

For more:
- read this Sony corporate blog post

Related articles:
Showtime standalone service set to launch on Roku, PlayStation Vue
Leaked Sony emails reveal Comcast's leeriness of PlayStation Vue
Sony PlayStation Vue locks up 'Mad Men' and 'Walking Dead,' still no 'SportsCenter' in sight

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