Dish has announced a new internet TV service called Sling TV aimed at cord-cutters. For $20 a month, you get live streaming access to an assortment of cable networks that includes ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Travel Channel, ABC Family, Maker, and Disney Channel. This service would mark the first time ESPN, TV’s leading cable network, would be available without a traditional cable subscription.
Sling TV will be a true month-to-month subscription with no contracts or commitments. The service will be coming to both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in the form of a free app. It will also be available on a slew of other devices that include Android, iOS, Mac, PC, Roku, Xbox One, Nexus Player, and select smart TVs. A single subscription grants access to the service on all devices.
In addition to the base $20 fee and channels, you can pay extra for “genre packages” that add more content. The first two extra packages being offered are: “Kids Extra” and “News & Info Extra” at $5 each. Details on which cable networks will be included in these additional packages has not yet been revealed.
This isn’t the a-la-carte channel solution many of us have been asking for, but it’s a step in the right direction for those wanting to add live programming to the myriad of on-demand streaming options like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
A few more details have surfaced. First off, the service will launch during the first quarter of 2015, so by March. The service will have a DVR-like feature that allows you to pause, rewind, and fast-forward most channels. Some channels will also include a “3-Day Replay” feature that gives customers the ability to watch some shows that have aired in the past three days. The “Kids Extra” package will add Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV and Duck TV. The “News & Info Extra” package will add HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV. Lastly, and most importantly, only one device at a time (per subscription) can be streaming.