Dish Networks just announced Sling TV at CES today, a new service that’s sure to pique the attention of people who have cut the cord on their traditional television subscription. It’s an internet-based TV service that costs $20 a month, and brings users 12 live channels including ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, the Travel Channel and Food Network.
With the growth of online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, more people are looking to cut down on their bills by ditching a cable or satellite TV subscription. The new Sling TV service could help speed that transition, especially with the inclusion of ESPN. Live sports has long been a roadblock for fans interested in cord-cutting, since ESPN has been unwilling to stream its content over the web…until now.
The new service could also help Sling reach a millennial audience that has been perfectly content to leave behind the obligations of a cable or satellite subscription and just stream shows to their computer.
In addition to the base channels, users can also pay an extra $5 a month for “Kids Extra” and “News & Info Extra” packages that include channels like Disney XD and Bloomberg TV. Dish said that a “Sports Extra” package will be forthcoming.
Dish President and CEO Joe Clayton said that the company will offer further customization going forward, with an emphasis on maintaining affordability.
Families looking to cut the cord may not get a whole lot of savings out of Sling TV, though: an account can only stream to one device at a time. That means a multi-TV household will need multiple subscriptions if they’re going to watch “Iron Chef America” on one TV while watching a couple of football teams duking it out on the gridiron on another. Subscribers will also miss out on local broadcast channels through the service, though it’s possible for them to pick those up using a relatively inexpensive HD antenna.
The service is also good news for Amazon and Microsoft – Dish’s press release specifically calls out the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Xbox One among the ways that users can get content from Sling TV to their television set. Users will also be able to stream video to their computers, iOS and Android devices.