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Next TV: PlayStation Vue Exec Says Rollout Tops Goals

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Dwayne Benefield, VP and head of PlayStation Vue, says the rollout of the pay-TV service has "far exceeded expectations."

He spoke Thursday to Jeff Baumgartner, technology editor ofMultichannel News, during a keynote session at NewBay Media's Next TV Summit, offering rare insight into the ongoing Vue rollout. The "skinny bundle" offering has just added Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is now available in several major markets.

Benefield did not divulge subscription numbers but said median viewer engagement has averaged five hours a day, more than an hour longer than traditional TV watched by 18-34-year-olds, according to Nielsen. About 75% of the subscriber base is in that age demo, he noted.

Those users are also watching an average of 25 channels offered in the PlayStation bundle, which costs $50 to $70 a month.

"If you try to extrapolate that to the OTT world" of stand-alone pay services, he said, "it's probably not any cheaper for consumers than in the package. For the bulk of our users, the package makes a lot of sense."

In addition to the new markets, Vue announced this week a suite of OTT offerings, including Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus, available to Vue bundle subscribers but also nationwide a la carte to any PlayStation 3 or 4 owner.