What the industry really needs is true a la carte option, not just traditional bundles delivered over the Internet. But that seems less likely than in recent years as dedicated video streaming platforms are currently all the rage. Apple and Disney, for example, are set to launch their respective streaming services in the coming weeks which could slow Internet TV growth across the entire industry.
Sony has reportedly recruited Bank of America Merrill Lynch to explore the possibility of selling off its PlayStation Vue streaming service. The sale would include Sony’s streaming technology and a list of around 500,000 subscribers, sources familiar with the matter tell The Information.
Sony has already approached at least one potential buyer – FuboTV – although discussions haven’t advanced, one source said. The company would likely look to get “tens of millions” for the service, the same source noted.
Sony introduced its over-the-top Internet television service for cord-cutters in late 2014 and launched it in select markets a few months later. It’s one of several traditional cable / satellite TV alternatives that have emerged in recent years to challenge the old guard. Rising programming costs, however, have slowed growth and kept the service from making Sony any money. In fact, it is costing the company money according to two sources.
Rivals like Sling TV and Hulu Live are more heavily promoted and have attracted far more subscribers – around 2.5 million each, people familiar with the matter claim.
Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst at eMarketer, believes some of these services could eventually go away entirely. They’re all essentially the same meaning they all face the same challenges as traditional TV bundles.