Dish’s Sling TV May Offer More Popular Channels, But Will Not Force Customers To Buy Them
During an industry conference held in the city of Chicago, Roger Lynch, chief executive of Sling TV, made clear that his company will be omitting broadcast content from its basic package offerings. Instead, Lynch further explained that customers can expect Sling TV to launch broadcast networks in a tier, which essentially refers to collections of channels that customers can add to their basic service (which costs $20 each month) for an additional fee.
Sling TV, which is a subsidiary of Dish Network, holds the distinction of being the first of several TV services launched in 2015 that presented various channels of live TV directly to viewers via the web. Playstation was close behind with its Vue service, while mobile giant Apple is also preparing to launch its own Internet-based live TV service this year.
As for TV programmers and distributors, they are slowly beginning to see the potential market of viewers (mostly consisting of younger demographics) watching TV content over the Internet, and are now open to exploring this new market segment rather than continuing to protect their traditional pay TV business. Industry watchers, however, are watching these latest developments closely, in the hope of monitoring how the industry will change as viewer preferences over how TV content is delivered are shifting.
Based on reviews, many have noted Sling TV's lack of popular broadcast channels such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, some of the most watched networks on TV today. But as claimed by Lynch, Sling TV never considered those channels as essential inclusions to its existing range of services. He further added that the company did not want to force consumers to purchase channels that they were already watching through other means.
Lynch specifically mentioned Hulu and over-the-air TV companies as examples of providers that can give customers access to these channels. But the high-ranking executive sidestepped the fact that Hulu does not alway provide access to the entirety of its programing. Furthermore, Hulu routinely lacks coverage for very big live events, like popular sports games or major awards shows, which often the largest number of viewers. Also, over-the-air TV companies can not always reach every home -- even viewers that are equipped with antennas do not always get access to the channels mentioned above.
Lynch however emphasized that Sling TV right now is experiencing high engagement levels among viewers. He stressed anew that customers of Dish World (an international preceding version of the current Sling TV service) watched an average of five hours every day.