ESPN, ABC channels launch on PlayStation streaming service

As part of a broader effort to reach cord-cutting millennials, Walt Disney Co. has made TV channels including ESPN and ABC available on Sony's PlayStation Vue streaming service.

ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel and other outlets launched on the new Internet television service Wednesday, the companies said. 

PlayStation Vue, available through the Japanese tech company's gaming consul, launched about a year ago to give viewers access to TV programming with subscribing to a full, traditional cable bundle.

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Networks, pay-TV companies and technology firms have been experimenting with ways to reach younger consumers who are less likely to become pay-TV subscribers. 

Sony hopes the addition of Disney's programming, first announced in November, will make its offering more attractive to consumers, especially those who want access to sports content. PlayStation Vue is also reducing its base price to $40 a month from $50 a month for all customers, the company said. 

Sony did not say how many people use its streaming package, which is currently available in seven cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. 

This is not the first time Disney has allowed its channels to become part of a cheaper, limited package aimed at online-savvy consumers. ESPN and Disney Channel are already available on Dish Network's Sling TV, a $20 a month service. 

The broader moves by Disney into the Internet TV space come at a time when the company and other media giants are under pressure from investors to respond to growing concerns about cord cutting.

The Burbank entertainment colossus' stock has declined in recent months thanks to worries over the strength of its TV business in the face of consumer habits and the cost of sports rights. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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