Sony has revealed that as of 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Friday, all Viacom-owned networks will be removed from PlayStation Vue, its Internet-based streaming television service.
Dwayne Benefield, vice president and head of PlayStation Vue, disclosed the news in a recent post on the PlayStation blog. Benefield said that as part of their ongoing evaluation of the service, they determined that removing the Viacom bundle of channels is the best way to continue to offer the most compelling value to subscribers.
The executive attempted to put a positive spin on things by first announcing that BBC America and NBA TV will be launching on the service on Wednesday. Benefield added that VICE and more local broadcast stations from CBS and Fox are coming soon.
Interestingly enough, Benefield didn’t say whether or not Vue pricing would be affected by removing Viacom channels. In a message to The Wall Street Journal, a Sony spokesperson said they had no pricing changes to announce at this time.
That said, losing Viacom is a big blow for Sony as it consists of popular channels like BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1, just to name a few. With additional competition in the works from AT&T and Hulu, having fewer channels seemingly doesn’t bode well for Vue. If there’s enough backlash from customers, it’s possible that Sony could reconsider although I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.