Vue Sports: Regional Networks, NFL RedZone offered in Sports Pack
Sony added a new sports package to its PlayStation Vue channel lineup comprised of national and regional sports networks. The add-on comes days after Sony increased its monthly subscriptions by $10 per month across most of the country.
The PlayStation Vue Sports Pack is also priced at an additional $10 per month. It will be available for customers that subscribe to the top three channel bundles. Subscribers to the entry-level Access package will not be able to add the sports package.
For months, Sony has been gradually adding sports-related features and regional sports channels to Vue.
MLB Network came to the Vue lineup in late March to three of its subscription bundles.
Just before March Madness, a multi-view feature debuted that allows subscribers to watch up to three live shows at once. The feature is only available on PlayStation 4 units, and Sony has not indicated whether multi-view will come to other popular streaming devices like Roku.
What channels are on PlayStation Vue sports package?
The PlayStation Vue Sports Pack adds both national channels and offers regional sports networks that will allow users to watch their home teams.
Some customers took a collective sigh of relief when they learned that the regional sports channels they already have been getting won’t be carved out of their subscription. Following Tuesday’s announcement on the PlayStation blog, customers were reassured they would keep their those channels.
National channels: PlayStation Vue Sports Pack
- NFL RedZone (Sept – Dec)
- MLB Strike Zone (During regular MLB season)
- ESPN Bases Loaded (During NCAA college baseball championship)
- ESPN Classic (On Demand)
- ESPN Goal Line (During regular college football season)
- Longhorn Network
- Outside TV
- NESN National (regional sports network national feed)
NBCUniversal regional sports networks (national feeds):
- CSN Chicago
- CSN Mid-Atlantic
- CSN New England
- CSN Northwest
- CSN Philadelphia
- NBC Sports Bay Area
- NBC Sports CA
Who has the best live streaming for sports?
Figuring out what live streaming service has the best sports package will depend on a few things. If you’re a soccer fan, you will have to rely on fuboTV or Sling TV for beIN Sports.
ESPN is still on all four of Vue’s channel bundles. Vue still has the more robust channel lineup for baseball, basketball, football and hockey. But in the ever-growing market of live streaming channels over the Internet, things change quickly.
fuboTV still lacks ESPN, but already has a pretty robust offering of regional sports networks. With addition of five more channels from CBS Corporation later this summer, Thursday Night Football and The NFL on CBS, and NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball will be available too.
For cord cutters, another big value with subscriptions to PS Vue, DirecTV Now and fuboTV is the ability to tap into TV Everywhere apps. Some of these apps have live channels, including ones not in your current subscription, and keep a vast array of on-demand content. The live and on-demand shows can streamed anywhere.
Vue has the largest number of TV Everywhere authentication. Popular apps and websites for sports fans include Watch ESPN, Fox Sports, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBC Sports Network, NFL Network, NFL Redzone, and more. fuboTV is trying to run a close second while DirecTV Now is also growing its list.
PlayStation Vue has been offering unique features like real-time sports scores baked into its user interface. Users can also track upcoming games for a particular league, and see what games are being played within Vue’s menu.
Pricing challenges ahead
There are challenges ahead for Sony and other companies vying for a dominant share of the live streaming market.
Offering popular channels while keeping a price point lower than traditional cable or satellite is already proving tough for Sony. Time will tell whether the cost of adding live local channels will be a good move for the company. For some customers using a TV antenna for local channels, the value in Vue has already dipped.
The pricing issue is also complicated because the largest Internet service providers are major cable providers like Comcast and Spectrum. And not many people are aware of the so-called secret rates these companies only offer to customers they truly believe are cancelling.
fuboTV and Sony struck an agreement this week with the National Cable Television Cooperative. The deal will allow them to offer their subscriptions to roughly 9 million customers in rural areas that rely on smaller co-ops and cable providers for broadband.
Hopefully that will bolster the subscription base for both growing companies. Sling TV already has roughly 2 million customers, and DirecTV Now announced this week that their customer base has quickly grown to a half million subscribers since launching roughly 8 months ago.
fuboTV has been trying to peel away Vue customers with an ongoing summer sale ever since they decided to drop beIN Sports. DirecTV Now has also been trying to bolster its customer base by offering a free Roku Premiere for customers who prepay for two months of service.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble