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Report: CBS is NOT Coming to Sling TV After Sling TV Refuses to Raise Prices


Recently the contract fight between CBS and Dish resulted in CBS pulling their networks from Dish for a few days. Now we have learned that part of the battle was over Dish’s live TV streaming service Sling TV.

According to reports Dish was pushing for rights to CBS cable networks including CBS Sports Network. Sling TV did not want CBS locals, and that was the sticking point. According to people close to the talks that talked with Multichannel News CBS wanted Sling TV to carry all of the local CBS affiliates. Sling TV pushed pack and that became the sticking point.

Sling TV has long had a stance that they wanted to keep pricing low by not including the high cost of locals. Instead of adding locals and raising prices Sling TV is offering antennas and even a streaming player that will combine Sling TV streaming with your Antenna called Air TV with a new Air TV 2 expected in January.

Recently Sling TV has kept their base pricing at $20 to $25 a month when other services have been raising their pricing to the $39.99 price point. CBS wants their locals carried as that would bring them a fat paycheck from Sling TV. It has been rumored for some time now that Sling TV is refusing to include new locals in their base packages as networks like CBS want if that results in a price hike.

Recently CBS’s CEO Les Moonves opened up about why they are pushing CBS locals on live TV streaming services. “When consumers cut the cord and switch to skinny bundles, the economics get better for us, growing rates as well,” Moonves said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call with analysts earlier this month.

“When a viewer switches from a traditional distributor to a streaming skinny bundle, CBS’s fee doubles, he said. If they subscribe to CBS All Access, CBS’s haul sometime triples. “OTT is a more profitable business model.”

Now CBS and Dish have a new deal for Dish’s satellite service but no agreement for Sling TV to get any new CBS owned networks.

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  • IBWTF

    Ugh, ugh… Like I assumed it was because of sling but I guess it didn’t work.

    • Dean G

      Exactly, they’re already charging people $5 more for ABC. Just group them together at $5 and call it a local package. I don’t get it, first they complain the networks won’t deal with them and here we have CBS saying take us to your streaming service and they complain no thank you.

      • Joe in Virginia

        Don’t think of it as Sling making silly decisions. Remember, we are talking about DISH….

      • Nathan John Ganiere

        kinda agree on this they could easily add a LOCAL package which would give you access to all 4 major networks if available for $5 as an addon so people would have a choice if they wanted them or not, wouldn’t even have to add them to orange or blue, yeah don’t make no sense, leave it to DISH………….

      • Carl Collie

        Beacuse I am sure CBS is requiring carriage in their base packages, it is not up to Dish to decide, if CBS that determines what they will allow for their channels. If they are like ESPN they want to be in the base package so everyone pays and does not have a choice to opt out.

        • Barbara R

          I don’t watch CBS at all.

      • David1970

        So you want CBS for free? Let sling pay for it? Buy an antenna.

    • Sean Guy

      It is very possible that CBS was insisting that the local channels be added to a base package, and not be an add-on, which would possibly raise the cost of one of those packages. I actually kind of like the idea of Sling TV and Philo, which are made to compliment your existing service, with the emphasis on OTA.

    • Barbara R

      CBS won’t allow it as an add on.

    • Vegas Steve

      Higher costs passed onto the consumer is why.

  • TV Barrington

    I realize this could have been a big deal for some cord-cutters, but speaking for myself, I have an antenna and can record CBS, so I’m fine without Sling including it. I did have CBS All Access to watch their new Star Trek, but dropped it as soon as I finished watching the series (I’ll do that again later on). I suppose that it could have been proposed that Sling could have presented it as an addon package, but that may not make too much sense unless the package is lower than the CBS All Access.

    Anyway, I’m glad that Sling is trying to keep the price of their service low and allowing their users to pick and choose. Sure, it would be nice to have a few more channels (I’d like the Science channel), but I would really like for Sling to possibly concentrate more on tweaking or improving their features, like the number of hours of their cloud DVR (I know they are doing this).

    • Me

      It’s big deal because not everyone can get in locals via antenna reliably or perhaps just not having to switch inputs all the time is preferable. Also you do not get to pick and choose. Can I choose a package that has locals? No. So where is this mythical choice?

      • Barbara R

        You can choose not to use Sling and go with DTVN or Vue or OTA or a basic cable package with added OTTs ot any combination thereof. What you can’t choose is to have a vendor create the perfect package for you alone on a single input.

      • DON

        I do not understand why people are complaining about this. As several have said, just get PSVue or DTVN! Leave us sling customers alone. We will enjoy our $25 blue package ( which by the way, comes with plenty of channels- we don’t need a gazillion channels we do not watch to be happy), and you enjoy your $40 plus packages!

  • mnsportsgeek

    Dish being Dish.

  • Fred Koot

    CBS will need to grab as much money as they can. They won’t have the Big Bang theory to carry them for much longer.

  • Amos Vryhof

    Sling orange for $20/month + CBS All Access for $9.99/month (kind of a shame that I like Star Trek Discovery). I’ll not be paying $39/month, thank you much!

    • Me

      That’s $29.99

      • Barbara R

        That’s why he is combining Sling and CBS All Access and paying $30 instead of $40.

      • Amos Vryhof

        Sure is! Still not $39. If/when Philo comes to FireTV, I’ll be able to pay as little as $22 if I don’t mind watching the painful commercials on CBS.

    • David1970

      CBS All Access $6.00 mo not $10. If you don ‘t want commercials that’s your price increase to you.

      • Amos Vryhof

        True. I just find the commercials on CBS annoying enough to pay the extra $4.

  • Me

    “Sling TV has long had a stance that they wanted to keep pricing low by not including the high cost of locals.”

    And without locals Sling will NEVER get my business

    “Instead of adding locals and raising prices Sling TV is offering antennas ”

    Not all of us can get in locals with an antenna. Those little POS indoor antennas will not work in my area, even a large outdoor antenna mounted 30 feet high would be so-so at best. Maybe locals will come in maybe not. Maybe only at night sometimes. Maybe not at all.

    • Fred Koot

      Besides NFL, why do you need locals?

      • Me

        because I’m not the only one in the household and maybe they like what is on the networks and local news

        • Fred Koot

          Everything on the networks you can get free, if you are willing to wait up to a week. Most local news stream free.

          • Me

            maybe the other people aren’t willing to wait and rather have things linear like they have been use to all their lives. Not everyone is a 20 something that embraces every new advance in technology. You might not like linear TV but many people still do. Not everyone is just going to hop on the “new way” train.

            PS Vue is the closest to having all the locals and even though they lack some of the cable channels we watch they are close. So probably that’s who we will give our money to.

          • Fred Koot

            Yeah, I’ve found Vue to be the best, but don’t like paying $10 for locals

          • DON

            PSVue is too much money. I shaved the cord to save money not pay for a bunch of channels I do not watch. No one watches all of those channels. In my area psvue is $40 for the base package. My sling blue is $25. The channels that are in the blue package are more than I can watch, so I am happy.

      • carl_steve

        If you live in Tornado Alley, you need to know from your local stations (not the Weather Channel) what the weather is doing. The locals also provide other programming that is of particular interest in their TV markets. When OTA reception is unreliable, you want your streaming service to help out.

      • Barbara R

        For news

        • Fred Koot

          Check your Devices most have free streams

          • Barbara R

            The local OTA also lets you watch the national news live.

          • Fred Koot

            Again being a Cord cutter needs to be proactive. I K

          • Barbara R

            I watch the NBC local and national news every day, so that is one of my must have channels. The local is not streamed live.

          • Todd

            NBC News has an app where you can stream their national news 24/7. Most (though not all) local news is available through the NewsOn app, which might include the news from your local NBC affiliate. Both of those options are legal and not pirated services.

          • Fred Koot

            Again, I know CBS streams national news live as well as others. Nobody said cordcutting would be easy, but is does take research

          • DON

            Sling blue has NBC News. Last time I checked, CBS does not have a monopoly on national news!

          • Barbara R

            Yes, I watch NBC News. We are in agreement. His discussion has gotten out of hand and lost the original point.

      • David Batten

        I have never watched an NFL game in my life and I am 46. Nor do I plan to start.
        However, there are 17 shows that get recorded on the DVR from locals for my household.
        BTW… I get 71 OTA channels all for free.

        I know this is not the same for everyone. But just wanted to point out that the NFL is not Important to everyone and make a point about the statement.

        • Fred Koot

          So you are agreeing with me

          • David Batten

            My post did not look like an agreement to me.
            As you said that the NFL would be the only reason for needing locals. I then said that not only do not watch NFL, I watch/record 17 shows from local channels.
            I would further say that shows a great need for locals. Though I get my locals from OTA and not a streaming service. But your statement did not dictate streaming only.

          • Fred Koot

            My post was pertaining to people that can only get locals through streaming. I record OTA also, but everything can be gotten free threw streaming apps.

    • SoloCup

      So it’s not for you. And that’s fine.

    • Vegas Steve

      Then you have other choices besides SlingTV. It’s simple, SlingTV has taken a no locals stance, so go with another service.

    • Todd

      As others have said, if Sling doesn’t meet your needs, rather than spend time complaining about it, just choose a different service. You mentioned DTVN. If that meets your needs, then go for it. Having options is what cord cutting is about. If there isn’t a streaming service that meets your needs, then go back to cable or satellite.

      The choice is yours. Do more than post in a forum just to complain.

      • Robin Carmack

        Could not agree more. I paid more every month in asinine fees with Directv than I do now period with no contract. I am giddy….lol

  • Barbara R

    Sling made a choice to keep prices low and not give in to CBS’s blackmail. Cord cutters can choose Sling plus an antenna for OTA, or another service that carries CBS if an antenna doesn’t work in their areas. OTT has given people a world of choice, but there is always a price to be paid, either in money or convenience.

    • Me

      Yep. Dish has said my money is not green enough for them. Fine someone else will gladly take it. In 10 years Dish will be out of business anyway.

      • Malignar

        I’m guessing sling is not going for those rural customers. All the other services are trying to get as many locals as possible. Good to see one is keeping an eye on costs. We don’t need 5 services exactly like each other.

        • Me

          Costs? They are the most expensive. I’ll come out with a service for $5 that has 2 channels and then claim I’m the cheapest. Oh wait that’s doesn’t count. I don’t want every channel but to get the ones I want requires Orange AND Blue and the $10 4-pack add-on. And for the same $50 Directv Now has a much better line-up.

          • Barbara R

            Sounds as though Sling isn’t the right service for you,and Directv Now is a better fit. That’s what choice and the lack of contracts is all about.

          • Vegas Steve

            Well said.

          • TechSupport

            Most expensive? I have had Comcast, Dish, and Directv. Dish was the cheapest and had the best DVR. Now I am with PS Vue to save even more money. Why on earth would you want to pay for something that you get for free? As far as DirecTV now goes, I would gladly switch to them IF they ever release a DVR. I know it is in beta but so far it is just vaporware.

          • DON

            You are misrepresenting what sling does. It is $20 or $25 to start both packages consisting of most of the most watched cable channels, then add-ons.

      • Kariim Nelson

        Good Riddance! If you want to pay higher price.. its your money! you dont have to be nasty about it..

  • Mark D

    Most likely if your reading this story you already have OTA. Why raise the price when your customers already get it for free. Thank You Sling tv. Thought Philo here.

    • Dean G

      Well not everyone can get all the networks through OTA. Also some that do, it’s not always reliable. Why not give people the choice? Considering they love putting their things into packages.

      • David1970

        You want CBS you have a choice. CBS All ACCESS

        • Mike Thaler

          If all 4 of the major networks (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC) charged what CBS charges – you would be paying $24/mo. for just those 4 “free” OTA channels alone.

          • David1970

            Well first of all only CBS does it. Second, you wouldn’t have to get all four. I get CBS and if I couldn’t I would not have any major net work.
            It’s half empty or half full you can decide.

      • Vegas Steve

        Because by giving people ‘a choice’ SlingTV (most likely) would have to pay for all potential subs and then pass those costs onto everyone. There are plenty of streaming services that provide locals, just use those and leave SlingTV as the low cost alternative.

        • Dean G

          Yes I know and I do Vue. More channels that I want and locals for less cost.

      • John Connors

        I truly believe this is not true. OTA is available for those who make the effort. Those paper thin indoor antennas are not the best way to get a signal. And whether your HOA or your landlord prohibit.. I believe people are lazy, and some do not want to work within the OTA TV physics of getting a signal. So is it i can’t, or I won’t, which is it? My best example is when some people by this small profile antenna for their roof, and think they can make up the signal loss with an amplifier. If you don’t have a clue, pay a professional with one! OMG.

        • carl_steve

          I use an amplified indoor VHF/UHF antenna from Terk–the only option available to me. Since I live in rental property, my lease prohibits me from making the building alterations that would be needed for an outdoor antenna. It’s ridiculous to suggest that I risk eviction or a damage suit or whatever just so I can watch TV. I also live in the Midwest where temps can reach 30 below zero (even worse wind chill factors) in the winter, so patching antenna wires through an open window is not an option either. I don’t need to pay a professional to realize how outrageous it is to imply that people in my situation are too lazy to make OTA work.

          • Sean Berends

            Your landlord (or HOA) cannot prevent you from putting up an antenna. That is against FCC regulations. If your landlord does not want it on the roof, your landlord must provide you an alternate way or an area for you to put up an antenna that allows you to get a good signal. Your landlord cannot make it difficult nor make you pay a big expense to do it either. If you really want to put up a good antenna, then you are covered under federal law to do so.

          • John Connors

            Spot on Sean! This is exactly what I meant by the term “lazy” in my comment above. People do not educate themselves of their rights under the law. When my sister in laws apartment management told her she could not put up an OTA antenna, all I had to do was point to all the satellite dishes that were staked into the ground outside other peoples’ apartments. Needless to stay, I stated a trend that they didn’t like.

          • David1970

            Be careful getting off that high horse.

          • carl_steve

            The FCC rule you referred to (shown below) applies ONLY if the tenant has “exclusive use or control” over the property in question. Because of the way my apartment complex is designed and constructed, I have no such exclusivity. I made the effort to look up the rule, blasting holes in the argument that some of us are too lazy to find out what our rights are. If users can’t make their point without calling people names and without misquoting rules, perhaps they should restrict their comments to Facebook where such behavior thrives.

            “Under the OTARD rules, an owner or a tenant has the right to install an antenna on property that he owns or over which he has exclusive use or control. This includes single family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, townhomes and manufactured homes. In the case of condominiums, cooperatives and rental properties, the rules apply to “exclusive use” areas, like terraces, balconies or patios. “Exclusive use” refers to an area of the property that only renters and their guests may enter and use. If the area is shared with others or accessible without the renter’s permission, it is not considered to be an exclusive use area.

            OTARD rules do not apply to common areas that are owned by a landlord, a community association or jointly by condominium owners. These common areas may include the roof or exterior walls of a multiple dwelling unit. Under certain conditions, if a common antenna is available for use by residents, then the community association or landlord may prohibit the installation of an individually-owned antenna or satellite dish, provided the signal quality from the central antenna is as good as the signal quality from an individually-owned antenna or dish, and the costs of using the central antenna are no greater than the costs of an individually-owned antenna or dish.”

            https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/installing-consumer-owned-antennas-and-satellite-dishes

          • sonicdsl

            Thanks for posting that part of the rule Carl! I was just thinking about this the other day, and wondering what restrictions were permitted (even though I knew the landlord couldn’t fully restrict). In my apartment building outside of Dallas, I’m blessed with a balcony to the east, but alas the towers are to the west. Best I can do is a leaf-style in the window (white side out, mind). It picks up >80 channels, but the ABC affiliate is awful (which is slightly ironic b/c back in the analog days their’s was always the strongest signal).

            Anyway – I appreciate the review here!

        • Dean G

          I’m not sure why you feel it’s necessary to be so argumentative and rude to so many people all in one post. Has you can see Carl_steve has some valid points, and there are many other people with other points as well. Doesn’t matter how “professional” it is put up either, sometimes the area just has bad signals. Sometimes the stations aren’t even in the same direction, thereby having to turn it one way or another. Either way or whatever their reason, it’s the reason. But we all can’t be as “perfect” as you, but I would gather nor would we want to be.

        • IBWTF

          I don’t know about “lazy” no matter what I do, my CBS via antenna only works at night or early in the morning when traffic is low but Sometimes on the weekend. When there is a Sunday football game at 1 PM, it’s fine up until the end of the 1st quarter then I have to keep messing with it until I give up or find it online. That’s with an amplifier & an outdoor antenna that’s elevated.

        • PRMan

          I live on the backside of a hill and the TV networks are on the other side. My city was the first in my state to have cable for this very reason.

          So I’m going to go with CAN’T.

          That said, I STILL don’t want forced channels. If I want CBS, I can pay for CBS All Access. Or I can continue to watch the last 5 episodes free on their website and watch the SEC game for free on that website (if it’s a good matchup).

      • PRMan

        Sling wants to give people a choice. They already do that with ABC.

        CBS wants to force everyone to take their channel with no choice, like on Vue.

      • DON

        The reason Vue keeps raising their prices is for carrying the networks ( cbs, nbc, fox, abc ) , I will stay with sling and get that content elsewhere.

        • carl_steve

          There has only been one increase, and that was for new customers in the smaller TV markets (what Sony called Slim). Large metro areas/TV markets were already paying $10 more. The new pricing means everyone pays the same price for the same level of service, regardless of where they live. The increase was to cover the cost of adding local channels where that service wasn’t previously available. Many of us who were already subscribing before the increase last July are still paying the old Slim price because Sony is still working on adding locals in our markets.

        • Mark D

          Following up as of 1/01/2018 Due is moving some of its popular channels to the higher price tier.

  • SS

    Sling isn’t cheap. It only creates an illusion of being cheap by leaving out the most important channels. It’s actually more expensive because to get some of the most basic cable and network channels like Disney and Fox networks, you have to pay at least $40

    • Barbara R

      I don’t watch Disney or Fox. Everyone is different. That’s what choice is all about. The appeal of the big cable packages is that they offer everything for everybody, but then there are complaints of paying for channels you don’t watch. I don’t watch sports, either.

      You can either have a big, expensive cable package, or put together something that works for you via OTA and OTT. Can’t have it both ways.

      • SS

        Yes, everyone is different. But the biggest percentage of the population watches content from networks owned by Disney, Fox, CBS or NBCU. There is a very small percentage that doesn’t consume content from those media giants.

        • Barbara R

          What you are saying is true, but you can find options that work for you and include the stations that matter to you.

    • Robin Carmack

      It’s cheap when you were paying $200 for Directv

      • SS

        I’m comparing it to other streaming services. I get all the channels I want with YouTube TV for $35. With Sling, I have to pay at least $45 to get anything close to the same value; and it still won’t have the broadcast content I want.

        • Robin Carmack

          Then watch Youtube tv. I mean, look, we have choices now. Everybody griped and complained before these internet services became available. Now we have them and people still complain. I am saving $160 a month anyway you slice it. Pick what you like and roll with it. I believe it is a great time to be a cord cutter. I get 59 channels OTA with an antenna in a wooded area so I cannot complain. I don’t have a gun to my head over equipment fees and breaking contracts early. The good news is there will be more competition and more choices coming.

        • Barbara R

          You are doing the right thing by comparing options and selecting the one that has the stations you care about, at the best price.

    • SoloCup

      I think Sling is a fantastic value, but you have to pick the carrier that suits your preferences. I can do without Disney and especially Fox. I chopped my cable service to the most basic platform and replaced with Sling and Netflix. I still save money and get a much better line up of diverse programming and get plenty of sports without paying for ESPN’s bad business decisions. Later, I’ll replace one set with an antenna and turn in the box the cable company charges me $120 a year to rent.

    • Dean G

      Agree, to get the channels I want I have to do the same Orange and Blue plus all their “package” addons. I get more channels and almost every channel I want with Vue plus locals for less than I pay at Sling. Already have Hulu and signed up for Philo and I’m still more than 50% less than what I paid for cable. I have OTA but since I get my locals with Vue they come in much clearer without any buffering so I hardly ever use my OTA unless I want Cozi or METV.

    • Vegas Steve

      Maybe people should realize that these streaming services aren’t a one-for-one replacement for cable tv. If there is a group of channels you want in a smaller package, then it is much cheaper. If you want all the cable tv channels, stick with them. If you try to replace one-for-one, it’s most likely not going to be cheaper. But hey, enjoy all those shopping channels!

    • DON

      Fox networks are included in the sling blue package. $25 per month not $40.

      • Barbara R

        Exactly. For many people, Sling Blue, with Fox, CNN, and NBC, is plenty, even without an antenna.

      • SS

        But Disney aren’t. You can’t have both Fox and Disney networks in the same package without the $40.

  • Deon Hamner

    I live in an area where I get my local CBS via antenna. Very thankful. Would love to have CBS Sports Network but I rather Sling keep the prices down.

  • Randy Smith

    Sling targets people like me who live in an area where they can get their networks over the air. I would much rather use my antenna to pull in locals instead of subscribe to a package that has a built in $10+ fee for locals. For similar folks it would be wasteful to sign up for something more bulky and expensively unnecessary.

    Again, to each their own. I understand people wanting locals but that is what is great about the amount of streaming live tv services out there. Personally, I will stick with my Sling Blue.

  • Jeff McLean

    I am happy with slingtv at the current price points. I use OTA and Tablo for locals. If they would increase to $40 just for CBS locals I would drop sling very fast.

  • SoloCup

    Good move by Sling. Keeping the price low is what the calculus is all about.

  • mr Dave

    I’m glad Sling fought them. The only must haves from CBS are NFL and Big Bang. I can get those OTA so I’m happy not to pay more for SlingTV.

    • Danniel

      The issue is that rural areas cannot get OTA TV. However, rural areas can’t even get proper internet for Sling anyway. So it is a mute point. I agree with Sling though, CBS shot themselves in the foot by offering a separate app that can be canceled anytime. Why put it into Sling anyway and raise the price. I like that I can cancel parts of my lineup at anytime and save money. Most these local channels are junk anyway unless you like sports. Even then, junk!!

  • John Connors

    What most newbie cordcutters fail to understand, the more you try to mimic traditional pay TV with OTT or IPTV services, the more pay TV looks like a bargain. TiVo states that 88% percent of what people record on the DVRs with a pay TV Cable/Satellite sub is OTA TV. So this is a deal breaker for most people who are looking to cut, especially sports lovers. CBS is going to get their money. Sling TV is trying to get their customers to install antennas, so local rebroadcasting fees do not eat into their slim profit margins.

    • Barbara R

      Exactly.

    • TexMarque

      A very valid point. That said, those that want or need cable because they live on the wrong side of the building or are just too far for good reception should use the streamers like DTVN, PSVue, or other full channel providers. Cutting the cord still saves money because now they don’t pay the per outlet and other fees. I have always thought that Sling TV was for the urban areas with good OTA reception.

      • Malignar

        I agree. Although sling is pretty horrible for sports fans as they split Fox Sports and Espn requiring you to get both Blue and Orange…at which point you should just get Vue or DTVN.

  • TechSupport

    Good. I am sick of paying for stations that I can get for free over the air.

  • Kariim Nelson

    I love sling.. let these angry people go to directv,vue which recently raised their prices.. its your money…CBS shows are all the same… Boring comedies that are not funny!!!

  • Sean Berends

    Thank you Sling TV!

  • SpunkyBunks

    CBS needs to stream on their own app if people want it that badly. I don’t. Keep my prices down, thanks Sling TV!

  • dman

    Bravo Sling TV, keep up the good work!! Don’t cave into these Fat Cats who try to push around their weight and strong arm companies! I choose Sling TV because of the channel selection and price point, not because of local channels. I get my locals OTA… if customers can’t get locals OTA, then there is Vue and DTVNow at a higher cost than Sling TV.

  • Chris Lake

    Couldn’t care less–I don’t watch CBS anyway.

  • Robert Frankenfield

    I applaud SlingTV for pushing back to keep the cost down for consumers. I have an OTA antenna and get CBS as well as other locals out of Philly. Glad to hear SlingTV is sticking to their guns to keep their streaming service for consumers. Keep up the good work guys!!!