Online streaming is not just movies, TV reruns, or original dramas anymore.
Wednesday's launch in this market of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Vue brings streaming of live local sports through Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and local TV with the exception of 6ABC, a Sony official said Thursday.
Included in the service are 40 or more other networks, at a cost of $49.99 and $69.99 a month, based on the package.
The Sony service - which is being offered first nationally in New York and Chicago in addition to Philadelphia - is the latest in a crowded field of Internet-based streaming entrants that target young adults, or millennials, with "skinny channel bundles" of popular networks. They are considered alternatives to the channel feasts of traditional cable or satellite TV.
Dish Network recently launched Sling TV with about a dozen networks for $20 a month, and HBO plans an Internet-based service for $15 a month. Apple is talking about a streaming TV service, too.
Laura Martin, media analyst with Needham & Co., said the Sony service targets young men who can afford PlayStation gaming consoles and games and a high-speed Internet connection.
Sony recommends a broadband service that can deliver at least 10 megabits per second.
Martin said she does not believe PlayStation Vue will cannibalize pay-TV subscribers at cable and satellite companies because of its highly targeted young male market.
One apparent shortcoming of the new service is that it does not have ESPN. Sony continues to negotiate for content, but it has not come to terms with the sports network.
Sony launched PlayStation Vue in Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago because they are three of the largest TV markets in the United States and have large numbers of PlayStation users, Sony spokesman Sean Yoneda said.
The service currently can be streamed only onto televisions through PlayStation 3 or 4 consoles. Yoneda said that he did not know how many Philadelphia-area residents owned those consoles, but that nationally Sony has sold 35 million of them.
Sony intends to make the service available through other devices, including Apple's iPad, he said, adding, "We want to get this service in as many hands as possible."