Sony's PlayStation Vue internet TV service just got way more compelling. Vue already offers more channels than Sling TV — and you'd hope it would considering it's far more expensive. But today, that content selection is getting a big boost; ESPN has announced that it's reached a deal with Sony that'll bring ESPN, the Disney Channel, ABC, and ABC Family to the service. Suddenly, Vue is looking like a real cable replacement.
All ESPN-related channels including ESPN2, ESPN College Extra, ESPNU, and more are included as part of this agreement. And ESPN also notes that ABC affiliate stations will "have the opportunity to opt-in to the PlayStation Vue service with their live linear programming." In markets where that happens, Vue will be offer live feeds of all four big networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. (Sling TV, by contrast, offers none of them.)
A wide selection of on-demand content from Disney and ESPN networks will be added to Vue, and subscribers will be able to "catch up" by watching shows they've missed within the past three days — without having to rely on Vue's cloud-based DVR. ABC's primetime programming will also be made available on-demand "in cities where PlayStation Vue multi-channel packages are available."
Sony and ESPN haven't yet announced an exact launch date for the new batch of channels. PlayStation Vue starts at $50 per month for a package that includes live broadcast networks and popular cable channels like Comedy Central, USA, AMC, FX, and others. PS Vue runs on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Apple iPad. A free 7-day trial is available to new customers. So while Sling TV remains the cheapest way of getting ESPN without a traditional cable package, pretty soon it won't be the only way anymore.