This week Dish Network debuted its long-awaited web-based streaming service Sling TV to the world at CES, and we got a brief demo.
Expected to launch this summer, Sling TV is a cheap version of traditional “linear” (no pausing, rewinding, etc.) cable or satellite TV — and you don’t need a TV.
Dish told me the service is directly targeted at millennials, a crowd that has little interest in paying upwards of $100 — what pay TV typically costs — for a crop of channels that never get watched. Sling, by comparison, starts at $20 a month and offers 13 channels, including ABC Family, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN 2, Food Network, HGTV, Maker Studio, TBS, TNT, and Travel Channel.
The company is also offering $5 add-on “channel bundles” focused on two different genres: A kids bundle (Baby TV, Boomerang, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Duck TV) and a “News/Info” bundle (Bloomberg, Cooking Channel, DYI Network, HLN). A sports bundle is also planned at some point in the near future., although Dish couldn’t tell me many details about it.
The offering is different than typical “TV anywhere” applications like Xfinity TV Go because you don’t need a cable subscription at all to gain access to the content. That means no installation date, no satellite dish installed on your apartment or condo wall. That also means no taxes or fees associated with cable. And just like Netflix and Hulu, Sling TV is a no-contract, monthly subscription you pay online via credit card. There are no promotional prices or 24-month contracts to speak of.
Check out our hands on video of Sling TV and let us know if you’ll be signing up for the service in the comment section below.