After rumors that Sony was actively seeking a buyer for PlayStation Vue, its live streaming TV service, the company has now confirmed that it will shut down the service in 2020.
John Kodera, deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that PlayStation Vue will close down January 30, 2020. Active paid subscribers will receive their final charge for the service in December 2019 unless they cancel prior to their billing date. The company also said it will turn off the ability for new or existing customers to purchase packages, standalone or add-on channels in the near future.
PlayStation Vue, which launched in 2015, is the first virtual MVPD to shut down. Competitors like Dish Network’s Sling TV and AT&T TV Now have experienced slowing growth and subscriber losses while Google’s YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV have reportedly continued to grow.
“Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business,” wrote Kodera in a blog post.
“We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish. We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015.”
The expensive content and network deals cited by Kodera are part of the reason PlayStation Vue and competitors including fuboTV have had to gradually raise their prices in recent years. In July, PlayStation Vue raised prices on all of its multichannel packages.
“With costs rising each year for content, we constantly evaluate each deal to ensure we continue to deliver the content you want while considering the overall value of each package. After reviewing this, we have made the decision to raise the price of all of our multi-channel plans by $5,” the company said in a statement.