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Sony could sell off PlayStation Vue to escape the TV streaming game

Sony reportedly does not make money on the online cable service.
Igor Bonifacic, @igorbonifacic
October 25, 2019
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Seemingly fed with up with losing money on the service, Sony is reportedly attempting to sell PlayStation Vue. Citing "people familiar with the situation," The Information reports the company has enlisted the help of the Bank of America's Merrill Lynch investment group to find a potential buyer for the online cable service. Any sale would include both Sony's tech, as well as PlayStation Vue's subscriber list -- which includes approximately 500,000 households across the US, according to the publication.

Despite multiple price increases, it appears Sony has yet to make money on the service. Just this past summer, the company raised the price of all its multi-channel plans by $5 per month. It did the same the summer before. The company's most affordable "Access" tier now starts at $49.99 per month, making it hard to recommend if you're looking for a "skinny bundle." Sony, however, hasn't been the only company to raise its rates. Competitors like YouTube TV, Hulu and AT&T DirecTVNow have all done the same as the cost of content deals has gone up.

One potential buyer Sony reportedly approached was FuboTV, a company that operates a sports-focused streaming service. Although The Information notes those discussions haven't gone anywhere meaningful. In the end, Sony may not be able to sell the service. Of the companies that offer online cable streaming in the US, Sony reportedly pays among the most to carry cable channels. Further complicating any potential transaction is the fact that the company may not be able to transfer all of its cable deals.

In a way, it's not surprising to learn PlayStation Vue has struggled. The service has always felt like an odd match for the PlayStation platform. With the PS4, so much of Sony's marketing message has focused on gaming, sometimes to the exclusion of the console's multimedia capabilities.

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