Should you sign up for SonyLIV to watch live sports, TV shows, movies and more? finder India answers all your burning questions in this in-depth review.
The Internet landscape changed beyond recognition after Reliance Jio shook up the country with its trailblazing 4G services. Between 2016 and 2017, mobile Internet date was suddenly available free of cost. As a result, the other mobile providers had to scramble for cover just to stay relevant in the minds of the Indian consumer. Some went out of business while others drastically reduced their prepaid and postpaid mobile tariffs.
As a result, video streaming services came to the forefront to capitalise on the average Indian consumer’s demand for relevant video entertainment on their mobile phones, laptops and smart TVs. One of the leaders in this space is SonyLIV, a video-on-demand service that specialises in providing access to live sports around the world.
finder India has prepared this comprehensive SonyLIV review, so that you can make a decision about whether to make it your preferred destination for streaming live sports, movies and TV shows, using either your mobile or broadband Internet connection.
SonyLIV is a video-on-demand service that has a presence across 167 countries and a reach of 700 million viewers in India. The network owns 31 channels including Sony Entertainment Television (SET), one of India’s most popular Hindi entertainment channels. The other entertainment channels it owns include Sony PIX, Sony MAX, AXN and Sony SAB. It has a particularly strong sports channel portfolio, comprising of 11 channels, such as Sony SIX, Sony ESPN, Sony TEN1, Sony TEN2 and Sony TEN3.
SonyLIV was launched in India in January 2013 and it has access to 18 years of content from channels that comprise part of the Sony Entertainment Network. That translates to more than 700 movies and 40,000+ hours of television show coverage in Hindi, English and Tamil. It is available as a freemium service, with free content which viewers can watch without signing up, and also a premium service which is available at a lower cost in comparison to international services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Price and packages
As of 16 July 2018, SonyLIV offers the following subscription options for its premium membership:
|Plan name||Subscription cost||Validity|
|Premium 1 Month||INR99||30 days|
|Premium 3 Months||INR149||3 months|
|Premium 12 Months||INR499||1 year|
|Super Sports 6 months||INR199||6 months|
What devices and platforms is SonyLIV compatible with?
You can view SonyLIV content on the following.
Top picks on SonyLIV
|Indian Idol Season 10||10 Ka Dum||Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai|
|Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah||Porus||Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai|
|Crime Patrol||Kaun Banega Crorepati||CID|
SonyLIV can be viewed in all countries. However, viewers outside India may face some delay before they can watch the latest episodes of the shows. General entertainment, movies and live sports make up the majority of the content. In particular, SonyLIV specialises in streaming popular sports such as cricket (series involving the Indian men’s cricket team) and football (exclusive coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup). It offers original series made exclusively for the web, such as #LoveBytes2, Married Women Diaries and Maid in India. The entire list of shows is available at SonyLIV’s website.
How do I sign up to SonyLIV?
You can watch a lot of popular SonyLIV content without registering. The main difference between the free service and the premium service is that the free service is ad-supported, while the premium service (which consists of some real-time live TV channels and movies) is ad-free. Free users can watch live TV channels with a five-minute delay. Premium users can download and watch all their favourite shows offline.
A user can register with SonyLIV by using their:
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Social media login (either Google or Facebook)
After registering with SonyLIV, you’ll receive a verification email. Clicking on the verification link will verify the account, then you’ll be able to log in to your SonyLIV account and start using features such as like, watch later and follow.
SonyLIV pros and cons
- Availability of widely followed Indian sports channels, more than 40,000 hours of SET content and 700+ movies will leave viewers spoilt for choice when it comes to consuming content.
- A wide variety of genres available, including music channels.
- Both SonyLIV’s website and mobile app have simple interfaces and can be operated without requiring expert knowledge.
- No subtitles are available, which is a significant disadvantage.
- There are no options to select an appropriate video quality as streaming will take place automatically depending on Internet connection.
- Currently, you can control the video player only with a mouse. The FAQ section on the SonyLIV website states that player control options will be available in a future version of the app.
SonyLIV is one of the leading Internet TV providers in India, with an extensive offering of live sports and an easy-to-use website and mobile app. Most TV shows are free to watch, albeit ad-supported. However, the lack of player options and the ability to control video quality is a disadvantage when compared to rival services. Also, due to licensing restrictions, the range of movies it offers is meagre compared to other services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. The biggest advantage is the low cost, with the annual membership available at just INR499. If you are a sports buff or an avid follower of popular TV shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati or Dus Ka Dum, then you can consider signing up for a membership with SonyLIV.