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Sony's a la carte TV plan: Curb your enthusiasm

Jared Newman | June 19, 2015
For a fleeting moment at this week's E3 gaming expo, Sony seemed to fulfill every cord cutter's dream by announcing an a la carte version of its Playstation Vue TV service.

Paving the way, perhaps

If there's any positive takeaway here, it's that Sony has at least committed to a la carte in a public way. Essentially, it's telling TV networks that if they want to venture outside the bundle, Playstation Vue is waiting for them.

This may not be entirely insignificant. As we've seen with the standalone versions of Showtime and HBO, even the networks that want to go a la carte probably won't do so on their own. They're used to leaning on cable and satellite providers to handle the billing, market their services, and deliver to a wide audience. Just as Apple and Roku were willing to fill that role for Showtime and HBO Now, Sony may be sending the message that it too can be a valuable partner.

In the end, though, it's up to the networks to pull the trigger. Some of them might go a la carte, while others may experiment with entirely new streaming services that cater to specific tastes, such as the rumored comedy and horror networks from NBC and AMC, respectively. The result, as always, is a greater number of options for cord cutters.

But unless Sony can offer some real channels that are typically part of a cable bundle, in a way that stands out from other game consoles and streaming boxes, its claims of being the first a la carte TV service fall flat.


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