Sony Taps Johannes Leonardo to Market PlayStation Vue Streaming TV Service

Campaign Will Begin Later This Year

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Johannes Leonardo has picked up the account for Sony's new PlayStation Vue streaming TV service after a review that began last fall, according to people familiar with the situation.

The cloud-based TV service, delivered through Sony's PS4 and PS3 consoles, has been available in initial markets such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia since March, and limited promotion has appeared in those areas. A national campaign is expected to begin later this year as Sony gains rights to local TV stations in other markets and the service expands.

Sony did not respond to a request for comment. Johannes Leonardo, backed by WPP, referred calls to Sony.

Vue subscribers can streams programs from about 75 networks, including Bravo, Fox, TLC, the Travel Channel, CNN, Comedy Central, TNT and Nickelodeon. Premium channels such as HBO, which recently launched its own streaming service, do not appear to be part of the offering at this point. Vue subscriptions range from $49.99 to $69.99 per month.

PlayStation will likely need a significant marketing push, given the saturation of the traditional pay-TV market, cable and satellite providers' move to offer cheaper packages, and the onrush of streaming services of various stripes, including Hulu, Netflix, CBS All Access and Sling TV.

Apple is reportedly preparing prepping to introduce a streaming TV service this fall with a reported bundle of about 25 channels.

One big challenge facing all pay TV services is sports programming, which many customers consider essential but is so expensive that it drives up bills for everyone.

Vue does not currently offer ESPN (or any other Walt Disney Co. channel), but viewers in its Philadelphia and Chicago markets can watch their local sports teams through Comcast SportsNet channels, while those in New York can watch Yankees baseball and Nets basketball through the YES Network.

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