Dish today announced that they are launching a new service called Sling TV for only $20. It will offer streams of popular cable channels including ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Travel Channel, Food Network, ABC Family, HGTV, Disney Channel and Maker. The service is being pushed as a service aimed at cord cutters.
Everyone here at Cord Cutters News is excited for the service and we do plan to do hands on reviews. We just wonder if this is really what “cord cutters have been dreaming for” as some in the media have said. Lets take a moment and look critically at this forma minute. If you are looking for a full break down of what we know about sling check out our news story on it HERE.
Well many cord cutters have been hoping for access to ESPN for live events I’m not sure this is what we want. Past ESPN will cord cutters be willing to watch content when cable channels show it? The lack of any DVR will feel like going back in time to the 1990s. Back to a time when television stations dictated when you would be home so you could see your favorite television shows. Yes there is some on-demand content but the on-demand content seams to be very limited in the demos shown. There are also no local channels currently offered with Sling TV something many cord cutters are looking for now that Aereo is out of business.
We already know there will be tiers but we do not know how many or what will be in each one. Gigaom is reporting that “Plus, the basic tier also comes with access to some content from WatchESPN, the sportscaster’s online video service.” Do cord cutters really want a system with tiers? We don’t know what channels will be in what tiers but it is a safe bet that the best channels will be in premium tiers. At $5 per tier with options like ‘kids’, ‘Drama’, etc how quickly will the price add up before your paying more than you would to cable even after the promotional rate.
Cord cutters do not want Cable but delivered online. They want on-demand access to the shows they want when they want it. Especially when they could pay the same price and get more content from Comcast and Directv.
So why pay $20 to stream a few stations when you could pay $20 and get 45 stations and local channels from Comcast? Sling TV seams to miss the mark if it is truly aimed at being a service to draw cord cutters back to Dish. Yes I know there are taxes and fees with Comcast that rise the price but do we really think Sling TV will not have taxes or fees?
We also do not know the $20 cost today is not a promotional cost. Just like with Dish ads you need to see the counteract to find out what you will pay in a year. We may not know the answer to that until the service goes public.
Lastly if Dish can make a profit off of this it puts to rest the argument that ESPN could not make a profit by charging $20 for all of the ESPN channels through its WatchESPN apps.