Sony is shutting down its pioneering online-cable alternative, PlayStation Vue, citing the high costs of content and the difficulty of network deals.

It launched Vue in early 2015 as a skinnier, cheaper version of cable or satellite TV delivered via the internet. It was a test case for a TV alternative alongside Dish's Sling TV, and, later, a slew of copycats from DirecTV , Google , Hulu and others.

But customer growth has slowed and even dropped for many of these services as prices rose and they added more channels, coming closer to their traditional TV counterparts.

The industry's latest hope for a successor to cable or satellite TV has now shifted to streaming services, including new entries from Disney, Comcast and AT&T.