Dish Network is poised to launch the first major online television service from a cable or satellite company.
The new offering to be called Sling TV, will offer 12 channels to customers in the United States for $20 per month. The star of this package without question is the offering of ESPN. Presumably, ESPN alone is responsible for countless people’s unwillingness to cut the cord completely with their cable or satellite provider. ESPN was once again named the most-watched cable channel in the United States in 2014.
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Dish Network Sling TV: ESPN and “the others”
The Sling TV package, there is absolutely no affiliation with the Sling brand that makes Sling Box, will offer TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and ESPN2 for a contract-free $20 per month. The only real downside that I can see at present is that the service only works on a single device at any given time. So, unlike Netflix, two-room family viewing is out of the question.
When Sling TV is launched “soon” it will be able to stream the aforementioned channels on the following devices making it true “everywhere TV”:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Google Nexus Player
- LG Smart TVs
- Mac / OS X
- Roku set-top boxes
- Roku Streaming Stick
- Roku TV
- Windows PC
- Xbox One
Dish Network – Apple TV and a la carte channels
The one real notable exception from this list is Apple TV. A spokesperson from Dish Network recently stated that they would like to work with Apple but stressed the difficulties based on Apple’s rigid user interface rules it imposes on programming partners. This, It should be noted that this seems a bit odd given the fact that ESPN, HBO and others don’t seem to have the same problem.
While this new addition to the Dish lineup of products doesn’t boast the package that would have forced a $60-$80 price tag, that was not the company’s intention, but getting ESPN on board clearly was. “Our strategy was never to replicate traditional pay TV over the internet,” said Roger Lynch, the newly appointed CEO of Sling TV.
What about a la carte channel additions? It’s not going to happen. “The economics for it don’t really work out for programs,” said Lynch. However, the company is planning for genre bundles. To start it will offer two: News and Kids. Each will bundle a number of additional channels for $5 a month.