PlayStation Vue customers will now be able to access their local network stations through the service provided that the channels are owned and operated by the national networks as apposed to private ownership groups. Vue had struggled to offer services in more than a handful of communities since its launch because of a previous strategy that required the ability to offer local TV stations as part of the package. Recently the service dropped that requirement and became available nationally without major network channels in markets where deals were not in place.
What this means for viewers
This does not mean that everybody with PS Vue will suddenly have access to the full lineup of network channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. This is because a number of major network affiliate stations are owned by private media groups and even major conglomerates. But this is a big breakthrough for those in markets where the actual networks own stations.
Network Mish Mash
Because of the nature of this development future customers will be put in a situation where they will not be able to be certain exactly which local channels will stream through the service and which will not. For a list of all of the owned and operated network stations see MCN’s story here. In our area, Raleigh-Durham viewers will only receive ABC while in New York viewers will be able to access, CBS, Fox and CBS.
This is the logical step for online streaming operations like Vue and Sling and will likely provide a model going forward for other online ventures such as Hulu’s proposed offering and the rumored service from YouTube. PlayStation Vue adding major network channels for some viewers may well influence other services as well as the privately owned stations depending on how revenue works out for the affected stations.