Sling TV has officially launched in the United States. The live, over-the-top television service was first announced at the Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in January. Prior to today, Feb. 9, the service was only available by receiving an invitation.
Created by Dish Network, Sling TV delivers live sports, lifestyle, news, and information channels, and video-on-demand (VOD) entertainment without a cable or satellite subscription. The service requires no long-term commitment, annual contract, credit check, or hardware installation.
— Sling (@Sling) February 9, 2015
For $20 per month, you can subscribe to Sling TV’s “Best of Live TV” core package.
This includes: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey, and Galavision. This package also features access to WatchESPN and an array of VOD entertainment.
Sling TV customers can purchase additional channels through $5 “Extra” packages. These include: “Sports Extra,” “Kids Extra” and “News & Info Extra.”
The first features: SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, and college sports live cut-in and highlights networks ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, and ESPN Goal Line. Coming soon, Sling TV customers will also have access to ESPN3 – ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network – via the WatchESPN app.
The Kids Extra package features Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, and Duck TV. The News & Info Extra package includes HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY, and Bloomberg TV.
AMC Networks coming
Sling TV has also announced that the service will soon be adding channels from AMC Networks to its core package in the coming weeks. The agreement includes over-the-top (OTT) multi-stream rights for live and VOD entertainment and news content from AMC Networks’ portfolio including AMC, BBC AMERICA, BBC World News, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv.
AMC is the home to “The Walking Dead,” “Mad Men,” and the new “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul.”
The Sling TV app is available on current-generation Roku players, Roku TV models, iOS, Android, Mac and PC, with support for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in the coming days.
In the coming months, Sling TV is expected to launch on Google’s Nexus Player, webOS Smart TVs from LG Electronics, select Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox One, with other streaming devices and smart TVs to follow.
Competition from Apple?
According to Re/code, Apple is holding discussions with TV programmers regarding their own over-the-top pay TV service, which will deliver video content over the Web rather than through a dedicated video service provider.
Re/Code noted last week:
The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming — but not the entire TV lineup that pay TV providers generally offer — and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web. That means Apple wouldn’t be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.