Disney, Sony Reach Deal on Video Streaming

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Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) have signed a deal that will allow Sony to stream Disney-owned channels to subscribers to Sony’s PlayStation Vue over-the-top (OTT) streaming video service. No launch date was given.

Sony will be streaming all Disney channels, including ESPN and ABC, and subscriber households can view more than one stream at a time. Disney already has a deal with Dish Network’s Sling TV to distribute the same channels over the Web, but the Sony deal is the first that offers the Disney channels on a multi-stream basis.

PlayStation Vue is available on PS3 and PS4 consoles and Apple iPads to subscribers whose service originates through one of Sony’s consoles. Gaming consoles were the top devices used to view online video content in the first quarter of 2015, according to new research from Parks Associates. The Xbox from Microsoft is the most commonly used consumer electronics device used for video streaming (14%), followed by the PlayStation consoles (13%).

Sony has not announced how it will package and distribute the Disney-owned channels. The company currently offers three multi-stream packages ranging in price from $50 to $70 a month. PlayStation Vue already streams broadcast feeds from CBS, NBC and Fox.

A Sony executive said in a statement cited at Multichannel News:

This deal demonstrates our continued commitment to offer the best content on TV to PlayStation Vue users. The addition of Disney and ESPN’s primetime programming and live marquee sports to our portfolio ensures subscribers will have access to the most popular network programming on television today. We’re also proud to be the first Internet-based pay TV service to offer Disney’s networks with the streaming features that set PlayStation Vue apart from the industry, making TV viewing a more enjoyable experience for the whole household.

Disney’s stock traded down about 0.6% Thursday afternoon, at $112.52 in a 52-week range of $88.65 to $122.08. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings after markets close.

Sony shares traded down about 0.3%, at $28.37 in a 52-week range of $19.52 to $32.95.

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