Sony's internet TV service, PlayStation Vue, has been a bit slow to roll out since launching a year ago. Before today, it was only available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and Miami. A big part of why Vue has been expanding so slowly is because it offers something unique: live, local broadcasts from the big four networks (CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC). Well, it did offer something unique.
See, Sony is taking the service nationwide as of today. To do that, the company has decided to give up that live network programming and offer customers in the 203 added markets brand new "slim" bundles. These are basically the same packages that other subscribers get, combining live cable channels, sports programming, and on-demand movies for prices starting at $29.99. Vue's channel lineup is actually a bit better than Sling TV's — especially now that ESPN is part of the base "access" package.
But what you won't find in these new "slim" bundles is live broadcasts from CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC. That's why they're $10 cheaper. Instead, the big four networks will only let Sony show on-demand programming, typically 24 hours after shows first air. The company notes that CBS will likely be first to flip over to live streams in "select cities at a later date."
PlayStation Vue's "Access" tier won't include live streams from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in new markets
So what does all of this mean? PlayStation Vue remains a pretty decent internet TV service, and the cloud DVR is something that Sling TV doesn't currently offer. You can watch Vue on PlayStation 4, PS3, Fire TV, and iOS. Chromecast is also supported via iOS apps, but there's still no way to stream Vue on Android natively. The new slim bundles are pretty appealing, particularly at that $29.99 tier. Sadly, if you're in one of the prior markets where Vue was already available, you're still stuck paying $39.99 — but you do get those four networks as part of the deal. The rest of you can try hooking up an antenna if you need ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC that badly. Sony says it's working to eventually offer live broadcasts from the big four everywhere. But if even Apple is having trouble making it work, you can expect progress to remain slow.