Sling TV CEO Reveals More Details for Cordcutters in reddit Q&A
Posted January 15, 2015
Have you seen the headlines? If you didn’t follow CES, you may have missed a big takeaway: the cable industry has lost its power to control of how we watch TV.
It feels good to be on the winning team. Cordcutters, we’ve got a wealth of new information regarding Sling TV, straight from CEO Roger Lynch. Well, we didn’t speak to him ourselves, but instead we’re recapping his best and most informative responses from a recent reddit AMA, where Lynch fielded questions from the community regarding the new service. First, a little background.
What is Sling TV?
Sling, which was publicly unveiled at CES 2015, is a no-contract over-the-top TV streaming service coming your way soon.
It’s Dish Network’s answer to cordcutters — that is, they’re trying to appeal to those who refuse to pay for bundled TV packages that are bloated with waste. Dish has tried previously to consider this group as “millennials,” but we believe this is quite relevant to anyone who desires flexibility and control over what and how they watch TV.
Sling will offer distribution of shows for $20 a month similar to how Hulu, Netflix and Amazon currently operate.
Out of the gate, it will offer access to 12 networks: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN. Other channels will be added soon, Dish has said.
The bulk of community interest, understandably, is with ESPN. If it’s one thing cordcutters can admit, it’s that watching sports isn’t exactly the easiest task without a subscription to individual sports packages through cable or satellite, although we’ve shown you how you can cut the cord and keep your sports.
We also know from Engadget that Sling will initially be available on iOS, Android, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Nexus Player, Xbox One, Rokus and LG and Samsung smart TVs, as well as on the web on Mac and PC.
Armed with an HDTV antenna and the potential for more great content at lower prices, cordcutting just got a lot more interesting.
Here are some of Lynch’s top responses from the Sling TV reddit Q&A:
Regarding number of users who can use Sling simultaneously:
You can have Sling TV on as many devices as you want, however at launch, Sling TV will be a single-stream service.
Regarding what channels are included in add-on packages already announced:
Here are the channels included in the add-on packs, but there will be more coming soon, and you’ll always have content to watch with our Video-on-Demand and 3-day Replay options.
“Kids Extra” add-on: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV
“News & Info Extra” add-on: HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY, Bloomberg TV
Regarding the sports add-on package, specifically:
We’re not ready to announce specific channels for the “Sports Extra” add-on pack, but you can expect to see more great channels from ESPN, as well as other popular sports networks.
What about a lower-cost option for people who don’t care about ESPN?
We don’t currently have plans for an alternate base subscription without ESPN, but we give you the option to customize your Sling TV experience with add-on packages.
Regarding concerns of competitors and corporations:
We expect competition and that is good for consumers and the marketplace. We do have concerns about net-neutrality and the effect the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger could have on the broadband market.
Regarding picture and sound quality:
Sling TV will broadcast in both 720p and 1080p and it will include surround sound.
Does it support Dolby 5.1?
We support DD 5.1 and it will be available on most channels and most VOD content.
Regarding the business model itself:
We don’t want to re-create the cable model, which is why we are being very selective with the channels we are offering. We want to keep the price low while giving consumers the ability to customize their package with our genre add-ons.
Regarding offering “pay content” for channels you can receive for free OTA: