If you’re reading this blog, chances are you have heard of DISH Network’s streaming service, Sling TV. Sling TV is an over-the-top (OTT) TV service designed to appeal to cord cutters. It’s significantly cheaper than a traditional satellite or cable package and offers several price tiers with varying amounts of content. Sling TV has been a huge win for DISH Network, attracting millions of subscribers.
We get a lot of questions about Sling TV, however the most common by far deals with the price. Like many television services, the price depends on which package you buy. As it turns out, DISH recently announced that they are bringing a free tier to Sling TV as well.
The free tier will operate in a way most similar to the Amazon Prime streaming service. Now, when you launch the Sling TV app, you’ll see over a hundred hours of popular shows and movies available without a subscription. In a model proven by Amazon, the idea here is to entice new customers with small amounts of free content. The gamble by DISH is that after consuming the free content, the viewer will choose to purchase an actual subscription on their own.
Sling TV has actually taken another page out of Amazon’s book with their new a la carte options. That’s right, Sling TV subscribers can now pick and choose which channels they want if none of the traditional tier packages appeal to them. Of course, this a la carte pricing does not apply to every channel that Amazon offers. However, it does cover a few of the big ones, and DISH has made it clear that they will be continuing to add more a la carte channels over time.
As of now, Sling TV users without a base subscription, customers can subscribe to: Showtime ($10 per month), CuriosityStream ($6 per month), Stingray Karaoke ($7 per month), Dove Channel ($5 per month), Outside TV Features ($5 per month), UP Faith & Family ($5 per month), Pantaya ($6 per month) and NBA League Pass ($28.99 per month).
It’s also worth noting that Sling TV offers over 5,000 movies that can be rented without a monthly subscription via their pay-per-view (PPV) events.
Warren Schlichting, president of Sling TV spoke with TechCrunch about these recent changes, saying that “When we first launched Sling in 2015, we set out to create an entertainment experience that put our customers first, offering unprecedented flexibility and control – no annual contracts, no hidden fees and the ability to customize programming…The new Sling evolves the experience even further by providing access to great content without anchoring customers to a base subscription.”.
Sling TV is easily DISH Network’s fastest growing service and is becoming responsible for an increasingly high portion of their annual revenue. As such, we can expect DISH to continue to take close care of this service. Sling TV is definitely something to keep an eye on if you have any interest in an OTT streaming service.