Update Feb 4, 2014: hands on review report.
Dish network is joining the OTT trend by offering SlingTV: a channel package + VOD for $20 per month (cheap in the USA) on OTT, aming at young adults (18-35): the cord cutters / cord nevers. According to Dish their present customers are not in this age group.
The number of households having broadband internet but no pay TV increases from 9.2M in 2012 to 10.6M in 2014. Online video consumption has doubled from 2013 – 2014.
Sling TVs “The Best of Live TV” core package includes 12 Nielsen-rated sports, lifestyle, family and news networks: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN. This package additionally features an array of Video-On-Demand entertainment and the best of online video with unique content from Maker Studios, the global leader in online short-form video. For certain channels, the service includes a 3-Day Replay feature that gives customers the ability to watch some shows that have aired in the past three days; no DVR is needed. Add-on packages for specific themes are available: a kids package and a news package each for $5/month.
Notably the classic networks (ABC, CBS, NBC etc.) are not included.
DISH Network has given a list of devices it expects to support Sling TV from the outset and it includes iOS devices, Android devices, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, select LG Smart TVs, Roku players, Roku TV models, and select Samsung Smart TVs. Other devices will be announced in the coming months.
SlingTV is part of a growing trend to offer more OTT services in the USA (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Sony, CBS, HBO and even cable operator efforts) . It is clear the industry is wrestling with the lack of a uniform delivery platform issues, HTML UIs seem to be quite ok however.
Hands on review of SlingTV by Colin Dixon on nScreenMedia.com. – A fairly technical view: the major deficiency is reported to be the lack of replay-TV features on some of the channels. Licenses licenses licenses. Of course there is not a level playing field with PVR and networkPVR solutions based on broadcast media distribution.