Sony’s TV streaming service PlayStation Vue will be getting new channels soon. However, the company also announced that it will be losing all channels owned by Viacom on Nov. 11.
“All Viacom-owned networks will no longer be available on PlayStation Vue. This includes channels such as Comedy Central, Spike, and MTV,” Sony announced on its blog. “As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.”
TV streaming services often change its channel offerings due to the complexities of rights agreements and disputes over pricing, as pointed out by TechCrunch. Reading between the lines, Sony might have decided to cut off Viacom-owned channels to avoid increasing the PlayStation Vue’s basic $39.99 monthly package.
The thing that’s most frustrating about this is that Sony’s announcement arrived just three days before Viacom channels will be removed from the service, as pointed out by The Verge. The removal of the channels is quite abrupt and it might possibly be enough for customers to cut off their subscriptions.
That being said, Sony did try to make up for it by announcing a new batch of channels for the PlayStation Vue. Starting tomorrow, subscribers to the service will have access to the BBC America and NBA TV. VICE and more local broadcasts from CBS and Fox networks are also scheduled to arrive “soon.”
Sony also explained that it has expanded the PlayStation Vue’s availability nationwide and that it is committed to adding more networks and support for other devices. The company also reminded customers that PS Vue doesn’t require a long-term commitment.
As for Viacom, the network was in “advanced talks” with Google to bring its channels to its planned online TV service on YouTube, according to a report by Reuters from last month. The online TV service on YouTube is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2017 and will come with all of CBS’s programming including live sports events. Viacom has also announced that it will be part of AT&T’s upcoming DirectTV Now streaming service.