Dish Network has reasons to be happy, as their Sling TV online video service, has surpassed the one-million users mark. This is as per the report of a research firm that tracks streaming services. The report has given Dish Network a head start before their rivals AT&T, YouTube, and Hulu get on the market.
The one-million milestone has put Sling TV ahead of Time Warner’s HBO Now in terms of total number of subscribers, according to Brett Sappington, an analyst at Parks Associates that bases their information on mobile data and various consumer surveys. However, Dish Network never disclosed the details of their Sling TV subscriber base and their spokesman Bob Toevs declined to comment on the news. It is also to be noted that Bloomberg Intelligence estimated in June that Sling TV had 671,000 subscribers at the end of the month.
Sling TV service started with twenty channels for twenty dollars in January 2015. Sling TV service was the first live “skinny bundle” television service out of the gate, and the service undercut the traditional cable television providers by offering a small number of channels at a very low price. The idea of Dish Network was to lure in people who were not paying for the big bundle cable TV packages. Sling TV was later developed to include more channels, and offered fifty channels for forty dollars since earlier this year.
The initial reports on the service showed that it was slow to take off, partly due to problems like service disruption during college basketball Final Four series. Due to the disruption, subscribers were unable to watch some of the games. This service outage was blamed on the capacity constraints of the network and these issues are now addressed, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said.
“When it was first launched, most were expecting they could get to 2 million within two years,” said Amy Yong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital USA Inc. “They’ve had a few glitches along the way, which reset expectations, so 1 million is definitely encouraging.” Sling TV is ranked sixth among the various OTT internet video subscription services.
AT&T is buying Time Warner Inc. and they will start their own internet-based bundle, DirecTV Now, by November, which offers more than hundred channels for just thirty five dollars per month. This would be a great competition for Dish Network’s Sling TV service.