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Dish launches Sling TV: Live TV over the internet for cord cutters

Dish launches Sling TV: Live T...
Dish announced Sling TV at CES 2015
Dish announced Sling TV at CES 2015
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Dish announced Sling TV at CES 2015
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Dish announced Sling TV at CES 2015
Sling subscribers can watch live sports on a number of connected devices
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Sling subscribers can watch live sports on a number of connected devices
Sling's basic package will start at $20 per month
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Sling's basic package will start at $20 per month
Sling TV's over-the-top service to feature live sports, including ESPN and ESPN2 (Photo: Business Wire)
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Sling TV's over-the-top service to feature live sports, including ESPN and ESPN2 (Photo: Business Wire)
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In the United States, more and more television programming has become available for streaming online thanks to names like Hulu, Amazon and many of the TV networks themselves, but being able to watch live television and events like sports and live news online has remained elusive for cord cutters. Dish took a big move towards changing that here at CES 2015, announcing the launch of Sling TV to deliver live channels to connected devices like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox and others.

Sling TV will launch sometime in the first quarter of this year nationwide with a US$20 per month subscription service that the company says will not require a contract, commitment or new hardware, much like Hulu Plus and other streaming subscription services. But in addition to video-on-demand offerings that we've become accustomed to through Hulu, Netflix and others, Sling's core package includes live streaming of ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN.

Additional channel packages for extra kids or news and information channels will be available for $5 more each and Dish says a "sports extra" package is also in the works.

With a subscription, Sling TV users should be able to watch live TV on mobile devices via iOS and Android apps, through a browser via Sling's website or direct to a big screen through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, select LG and Samsung Smart TVs, Roku players and TVs and Xbox One.

Sling TV can be paused, rewound and fast-forwarded on most live channels. Some channels will also allow for a "3-day replay" feature to watch live shows aired in the past 3 days without a DVR.

Sling TV could be a major blow to powerful cable companies in the United States that have long had the exclusive rights to distribute popular live sports and news channels. As many Americans have increasingly looked to streaming services for content from the television networks, popular channels like HBO, ESPN and CNN have remained almost impossible to access without a cable or satellite subscription.

Sling TV's over-the-top service to feature live sports, including ESPN and ESPN2 (Photo: Business Wire)
Sling TV's over-the-top service to feature live sports, including ESPN and ESPN2 (Photo: Business Wire)

Dish, itself a major satellite provider facing a downward trend in satellite TV subscriptions, has been competing aggressively in recent years for Americans' TV time with new DVRs and other products and services.

The announcement of Sling TV follows recent news last year that major networks CBS and HBO plan to offer online-only subscriptions that don't require a separate account with a cable provider.

Source: Dish

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3 comments
Nicolas Zart
I like the idea of streaming TV content, but the problem is that TV content is generally poor and paying $20 a month to endure what we ran away from, lobotomy-enhanced commercials, is not appealing. I guess I would have to find a DVR app to go with it and do that whole dance of skipping through commercials again.
The reason why Netflix and Amazon have done so well is because there are no commercials.
I'll go back to watching TV the day I can chose which channels I watch (only four or five) and only pay for it, not the 300 others I never do. Can't understand why that message isn't registering in the TV world by now. It's been decades.
Derek Howe
I might be willing to do this, IF and only IF they could get FOX on board. Since 95% of the Vikings games are on FOX.
Mark Salamon
I agree with Nicolas Zart's comment: media companies that are offering TV channels streamed over the Internet must stop forcing consumers to pay for pre-packaged bundles of channels we don't want, ESPECIALLY if we are being subjected to advertisements that interrupt the programming. This is exactly the same swindle that cable companies have been perpetrating on us for decades, and it's long overdue for this draconian business model to be abolished. I will ONLY subscribe to a streaming service that allows me to choose precisely the channels I prefer to watch, nothing less and nothing more.