BEEN sticking with Comcast Xfinity or Verizon FiOS just for local sports on the Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia channel?

Big surprise: Sony's PlayStation Vue streaming TV service, which launched yesterday in Philly, boasts SportsNet as part of its "Core" service, costing $59.99 a month - plus whatever you'll pay for the necessary broadband Internet service.

For best picture results, Sony recommends that subscribers have a 10 Mbps or better download service to pull in Vue channels through a connected PS3 or PS4 video-game system or Apple iPad. More connectable devices working with Vue will be added soon.

SportsNet still isn't available from satellite-TV rivals DirecTV and Dish despite legal wrangling, nor can you get it from Sling TV, an "over-the-top" streaming alternative from Dish.

Vue also stands apart by offering live, local CBS, FOX and NBC stations, plus "cloud" DVR recording of shows (up to 500 hours, stored for 28 days). A smart search engine revs up on-demand prime-time programming.

Another lure? No contract commitment. So after a free week's Vue trial, you might sign on for just a March Madness month from CBS, Turner's TBS and TNT channels, and the apps NCAA March Madness and Watch TBS (unlockable with a Vue account).

Channel bundles from Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner, Viacom and AMC Networks build up the basic VUE Access package ($49.99) to more than 45 channels, and the top "Elite" package ($69.99) to more than 70 channels.

On Twitter: @JTakiff

Online: ph.ly/Tech