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Updated: PlayStation Vue Pulls Sinclair-Owned Local Channels

The streamer has not explained the decision.

PlayStation Vue has removed Sinclair-owned local stations from its streaming lineup without an explanation. (See update below with Sinclair’s statement confirming the channels have been removed.)

The live streaming service pulled the stations yesterday morning from the channel lineups posted at Vue’s site. This came a day after subscribers were notified via e-mail that the live channels would be replaced on May 1 with an On-Demand version.

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“We are writing to inform you that on 5/1/18, the ABC-affiliated live local broadcast channel in your area will be replaced with an On Demand version of the channel,” read one subscriber notice, which was posted on the Internet message board, Reddit. “The On Demand version of the channel offers a library of current and top programming. However, live and DVR programming will no longer be viewable.”

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It’s unclear if each Sinclair station is off Vue as of this morning. Subscribers have posted messages at social media sites saying they have lost their locals.

“@PlayStation what happened to my live ABC feed on Vue!?” one Vue subscriber in Virginia tweeted yesterday. (Sinclair owns the ABC affiliate in the Washington DC/suburban Virginia area.)

It’s also unclear if Sinclair and PlayStation Vue, which is owned by Sony, are battling over carriage fees, a dispute that often occurs in the traditional pay TV industry. However, Vue added some Sinclair stations last January so it would be odd that the companies would be fighting over a carriage agreement just four months later.

Neither company has issued a statement on the situation, other than the Vue e-mail to subscribers. TVAnswerman.com has asked Sony and Sinclair for a comment and will report back here if we receive one.

Update: Sinclair this afternoon issued a press release confirming that all of its stations have been removed from Vue. The broadcaster blamed “Sony (for) failing to comply with certain contractual provisions.” It did not elaborate. Sony has yet to issue a comment. 

Sinclair owns and/or operates 192 local stations in 89 different markets. The loss of Sinclair stations could be a serious blow to Vue’s subscriber efforts, particularly if the stations are gone for an extended period of time.

Cord Cutters News first reported news of the Vue/Sinclair development.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1289 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

13 Comments on Updated: PlayStation Vue Pulls Sinclair-Owned Local Channels

  1. False news. I still have all of my local channels as of May 2nd.

  2. I know that WKRC (local12) in Cincinnati is Sinclair owned but still working as of this morning also.

  3. TV Answer Man // May 2, 2018 at 11:28 am // Reply

    Did you get an email from Sony?

    • TV Answer Man // May 2, 2018 at 11:36 am // Reply

      WKRC (CBS) is no longer listed in Vue’s local lineup for Cincinnati at the Vue site. It may not be on much longer.

  4. TV Answer Man // May 2, 2018 at 11:30 am // Reply

    Some subs say the channels are gone; I’m still waiting on a comment from Sony.

  5. Charles Hensley // May 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm // Reply

    So are we gonna get some compensation for this?

  6. Tvwatcher // May 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    No email, no loss of any local stations. Thinking fake news

  7. Swanni,
    Do you think streaming services will roll out locals to most/all of the country similar to how satellite did? Just wondering if there are other constraints in play that would affect this one way or the other.

  8. Anastasia Anderson // May 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm // Reply

    I just want my local news back. Trying to watch it online via PS4 sucks.

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