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Is Dish’s Sling TV Really What Cord Cutters Want?


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.

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8 Responses to Is Dish’s Sling TV Really What Cord Cutters Want?

  1. Avatar
    Nate January 5, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    I think you comparison to Direct TV is pretty of the mark. I’ve went from Direct TV to OTA + streaming content, so basically $100 /month to $0 /month. What you fail to mention is the $20 price tag doesn’t include the hike to $50 after the first year. Plus if you want HD you can add $10 on top of that. Plus of you want HD in more than two rooms of your house, you can add $5 – $10 per extra room. Now we are taking $70+ a month for 45 channels. As a cord cutter myself I’ll gladly pay $20 a month for ESPN and ESPN2 alone since I’m a huge sports fan. Disney for the kids is just icing on the cake. It’s quite bits to say this isn’t what cord cutters want when it’s exactly what I want, as a cord cutter.

    • Avatar
      Admin January 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      We don’t know that they wont raise the price after the first year. Sling is owned and run by Dish. They have a history of price raises just like Directv. Why shouldn’t we expect the price to go up after the first year? If this is what you want why not go and get Comcast or Directv and get even more content for the price?

      • Avatar
        Mike January 6, 2015 at 1:05 am #

        No contracts and the ability to cancel at any time does offer some protection. The moment they hike the price, all their customers will immediately jump ship.

        • Avatar
          Admin January 6, 2015 at 8:25 am #

          There is truth there. I will get Sling TV and post a full review. Hopefully this turns out to be what we want. I do fear all the $5 add on packs and hidden fees will make this even more costly than cable basic packages for less content.

  2. Avatar
    Mike January 6, 2015 at 1:01 am #

    “The lack of any DVR will feel like going back in time to the 1990s.”

    Yes and no. If you look at the press release from Dish’s about site (, some channels will have a pseudo-DVR feature, where you can watch any show from that channel any time you want for up to 3 days after it broadcasts. Not exactly a DVR, but does allow a bit of a watch on your schedule feature.

    “[Cord cutters] want on-demand access to the shows they want when they want it.”

    Not exactly, at least not for us and many others. I don’t mind live TV. In fact, I watch that much more than streaming shows on my schedule (although I do that, too). But, I don’t want to have to pay for huge swaths of channels when I just want to pay a little for a handful of channels, and otherwise mostly end up watching local free OTA TV anyway. Sling won’t completely get rid of that, but it is smaller amounts of money for smaller numbers of channels, so this does end up being a little closer to the a la carte thing we want.

    “So why pay $20 to stream a few stations when you could pay $20 and get 45 stations and local channels from Comcast?”

    That $20 for Sling is the non-incentive, “permanent” price. There are no other added fees, and isn’t tied to a contract. The Comcast $20 is an incentive price. After the 1 year, you’re stuck with almost $40/mo., according to my local Comcast pricing. In addition, you’ll get loads of extra fees, equipment rental, etc. tacked on, and you’re stuck with a 2-year minimum contract. With our local Comcast pricing, just the basic local broadcasts and a few extra channels that none of us would ever watch would cost us $30/mo, plus about $15 in fees and rental. So using an antenna, Sling with all three “extras” packs, and a Netflix/Amazon/Hulu-type service will end up being about the same as Comcast’s lowest price service. And yeah, we have to pay for Internet, too, but who doesn’t pay for that anyway?

    • Avatar
      Admin January 6, 2015 at 8:29 am #

      Right now we do not know the $20 is the permanent price. We have yet to see the fine print. Just like with the Dish ads you have to go to the contract to find out what you will pay in a year. I do agree the no contract is a huge plus for Sling TV. I’m just not sure this is the dream cord cutters have been asking for.

      We do not know how many channels will offer the pseudo-DVR feature. They are very clear in saying not all will.

      We do not know there wont be fees. I find it hard to believe that manipulates wont force them to have taxes because they have physical building in their locations. Just like how states are going after Amazon once they see the drop in taxes from TV they will be quick to push them on this. (If they are not already there as they maybe.)

      I’m going to get it and test it. From there we will see what happens.

  3. Avatar
    Ryan P January 19, 2015 at 2:17 am #

    If it is just $20 a month, the quality and watch- ability of the channels they are going to offer far exceed the crappy channels offered by the intro packages from direct TV and comcast. I don’t want 200 channels when I really watch about 5-10 of the channels. Al a carte please

    • Avatar
      Admin January 19, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Agreed Al a carte is the dream but Sling TV is not Al a carte.