Sony has announced a major programming acquisition for PlayStation Vue, adding AMC Channels to its new over-the-top pay-TV service.
The AMC channel will be added to Vue's basic $50-a-month bundle just in time for the sure-to-be-highly-rated season-five finale of original series The Walking Dead, as well as the final season of Mad Men. WEtv will also be added to the basic channel lineup.
IFC and Sundance, meanwhile, will be added to the $60 Core and $70 Elite packages.
The addition of the flagship AMC channel is an important addition for a Sony service trying to cull market-share from indigenous pay-TV services with a robust bundle. It also offsets the advantage of Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) Sling TV service, which also added AMC Networks channels shortly after launch.
However, the attention is on Sony's ability to tie down a programming deal with the Walt Disney Company.
Vue has launched in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, streaming a blend of bigger cable channels along with broadcast networks for owners of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles. Users also have access to 500 shows on a cloud-based DVR.
However, with the bulk of Vue's user base skewing young and male, analysts see the acquisition of ESPN as a major need for the Vue service.
In fact, one analyst, The Diffusion Group's Joel Espelien, went as far as to call Vue "dead on arrival" because of its lack of ESPN.
Mathematically, adding cable's most expensive networks--the flagship ESPN costs around $6 a subscriber all by itself--would not be easy for Vue without major concessions.
FierceCable asked a Sony representative about the state of negotiations with Disney, but we haven't received a response yet.
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