Sony’s online TV service suffered a serious setback Tuesday: PlayStation Vue is removing all Viacom networks this coming Friday. Sony is hoping to fill the gap by adding NBA TV and BBC America this week, and also promises Vice and more local content from CBS and Fox for the near future.
The removal of Viacom-owned networks will include Comedy Central, MTV, Spike, Nickelodeon, VH1 and more. Altogether, the service is losing more than 20 channels. In a blog post published Tuesday, Sony painted the move as a way to keep ballooning carriage fees in check:
“At PlayStation, we always strive to provide the best value and service for our fans. As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.”
Sony’s decision to remove Viacom’s channels comes a few months after competitor Sling TV added those very same networks to its own service. However, Sling isn’t reselling Viacom’s networks in bulk. Instead, the service is using networks like MTV, Nick Jr. and BET to upsell customers to a variety of extra packs, which cost $5 per month each.
The separation is also further bad news for Viacom: The media company saw its profits fall 27 percent during its most recent quarter due to declines in ad revenue.