Just last week, DISH Network launched Sling TV, an alternative to cable TV that offers a handful of channels and content for one low monthly price. Then, the company introduced a promotion that saw free Amazon Fire TV and Roku Streaming Sticks and $50 knocked off the price of Amazon Fire TV and Roku 3 set-top boxes. Now, Sling TV has made another announcement that should be of interest to potential cord cutters.
The company signed a deal with EPIX to bring movies and on-demand content to the streaming service. The agreement will see EPIX, EPIX 2, EPIX 3 and EPIX Drive-In packaged as an optional offering. The video on-demand aspect will provide more than 2,000 movies and "entertainment titles."
"Our customers crave the newest movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Transformers: Age of Extinction, but they also have a growing appetite for the classics and EPIX delivers both," said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. "Sling TV will feature EPIX's linear channels and movies on-demand in an add-on package that is accessible and affordable."
So when does EPIX arrive on Sling TV? Pricing and availability will be revealed soon, the company said. However, in the meantime, customers can get the base Sling TV package for a mere $20 per month. This includes live TV spanning ESPN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, the Disney Channel, ABC Family, CNN, AMC (Walking Dead!) and several more. Sling TV also provides three additional packages for $5 per month each: Sports Extra, News Extra and Kids Extra.
Is Sling TV worth the $35 a month? That depends on what the consumer likes to watch. There's no access to the major networks, so customers will have to rely on over-the-air digital TV access. Sling TV also requires that users have a device that's compatible with the Sling TV app, such as a smartphone, tablet, desktop PC, one of Amazon's Fire TV devices or the Roku set-top-boxes. And of course, a broadband or mobile connection is required.
The Sling TV app is rather slick. For example, the iPhone version provides a main menu that not only directs users to the TV lineup, but to a section of movies that customers can rent. These movies are broken down into categories such as "Action & Adventure," "Comedy," "New Releases," "Most Popular" and so on. To access TV on-demand content, simply hit the down arrow tucked away at the bottom of the screen to pull up the current schedule and the on-demand listings.
Is it time to cut the cord? Not yet, but we're getting there. Adding EPIX to the Sling TV menu certainly helps the cord-cutting process. What will be revealed next week?
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What I found is that if you go to the Dish site and look at the packages that they offer for the traditional satellite based subscription model, the satellite packages are less expensive on a per-channel basis. As I see it, Dish is hoping us cord-cutters will subscribe because of the limited access that this package gives to sports fans and not notice that anyone subscribing is going to be paying MORE for this package than they will for a satellite subscription.
The interesting thing with this is that with the satellite subscription, you still get Sling service, though, I do not know if there is an extra fee for it.
My bet is that in its final form when Dish gets through negotiating contracts with content providers that the "everything" price will be in the $100/mo range.
Agreed, and Dish is hoping you don't notice that you are paying for channels you never watch - even with this streaming service.
My wife and I were paying $86/mo to watch maybe five channels out of the "America's Top 250" channels of $hit we were getting. In the year that we have been off of the Dish, we have found that pretty much everything that we were watching is available with the minor inconvenience that we have to wait until it comes to one of Hulu, Amazon, or Netflix. We are now paying $20/mo for the three streaming services plus a subscription to an iTunes show, using a HTPC and OTA tuners for DVR functionality, and we still are able to watch all that we were watching.
We are both much happier since we cut the cord.
That they have added Epix would only sweeten the deal IF it were free.