Sony’s streaming TV service gets a price cut
Sony’s streaming-television service is getting a $10-a-month price cut and adding Disney-owned channels such as ABC and ESPN.
The changes come Wednesday, nearly a year after Sony’s PlayStation Vue launched as an alternative to traditional cable and satellite TV services.
The base package now costs $40 a month for more than 60 channels, including local stations for CBS, NBC, Fox and now ABC. Higher packages — at $45 and $55 — offer additional channels, including regional sports networks. Showtime is also available for an additional $11.
Sony had announced a deal with Walt Disney Co. in November, but Disney’s channels weren’t offered until now.
The Vue service requires a PlayStation or Amazon Fire TV device to sign up. After that, subscribers can watch on an iPhone, iPad or Google Chromecast streaming-TV device.
Sony’s main streaming-TV rival, Dish’s Sling TV, offers a cheaper, $20-a-month service with fewer channels — none of them over-the-air stations. But Sling recently added ABC stations in some cities as part of a $5 add-on package. Sling has had other Disney channels, including ESPN and Freeform, since its launch early last year.
On Wednesday, Sling added two online-only channels — Newsy for news and Flama for Latino entertainment — to the base package.
Sling is limited to one viewer at a time, while Vue is designed for family members watching different shows at once.
Verizon increasing its original programming
Verizon is diving further into original programming and will team up with Hearst to launch two channels targeting younger viewers.
RatedRed.com will aim at “millennials from the heartland,” while Seriously.TV is a comedic news channel that offers an alternative to late-night programming for a funny take on world events. They will be available through Verizon’s new go90 service, among others.
The channels, announced Wednesday, are expected to launch in time for “NewFronts,” when digital content channels like YouTube, Hulu and AwesomenessTV try to sell programming to big advertisers. It takes place in New York in May.
Verizon, which bought AOL last year for $4.4 billion, is trying to marry content to its popular wireless phone network. It said last month that go90 viewing won’t count against its wireless subscribers’ data caps, a move that has drawn criticism from advocates for an Internet that doesn’t favor one content provider over another.
‘Move to Canada’ Google searches rise during primary
Google says searches for the phrase “move to Canada” spiked as people in 13 states voted in the Super Tuesday primary elections.
Donald Trump picked up the most Republican delegates to remain that party’s front runner, while Ted Cruz finished a close second. Democrat Hillary Clinton picked up more than half of her party’s delegates at stake to stay ahead of rival Bernie Sanders.
Google Data Editor Simon Rogers tweeted early Wednesday that searches for the phrase nearly quadrupled Tuesday night. The jump came after 8 p.m. ET, after many of the polls had closed and news coverage of the primaries started to ramp up. A Google graphic shows a quick drop after that, followed by a steady climb in searches until midnight.
Samsung Pay adds Wells Fargo card holders
Samsung’s mobile-payment service is now letting Wells Fargo card holders participate. It says the service now covers about 70 percent of U.S. credit and debit card holders, though it’s available only on some Samsung smartphones.
Samsung Pay is competing with Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay, but is unique because it also uses a magnetic signal transmission that mimics a credit card swipe. That means Samsung Pay can be used on some older card readers that don’t have near-field communications technology.