Dish Network added 12 new Viacom Channels to Sling TV. This strategic expansion step was taken soon after launching Sling TV app for the AAPL Apple TV by the network.
Sling originally offered around 20 channels for $20 and options for add-on packs that featured sports, family, news, and other content. Since those days, Sling has been trying to expand by adding new features.
The new channels added to the Dish Network channels list include Comedy Central, Nick Jr., BET, NickToons, TeenNick, MTV, Spike, MTV2, Logo, CMT, TV Land, and VH1. Each channel is launched at a cost of $5 per month.
“The Viacom channels are a great addition to Sling TV, offering a variety of content that appeals to many audiences,” said Sling CEO Roger Lynch in a press release. To include these channels Sling had changed some of its packages and their names as well. For example, Sling rebranded its Lifestyle Extra package as Lifestyle Plus Extra. The new breakdown is as follows:
- Kids Extra includes Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, and Duck TV.
- Comedy Plus Extra debuts with MTV, Spike, MTV2, Logo, CMT, TV Land, and truTV.
- Lifestyle Plus Extra (formerly Lifestyle Extra) includes VH1, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, WE TV, and Lifetime Movie Network.
All other Extras remain unchanged for the single-stream offering.
Over the last years, there is a growing trend to shift from cable and satellite TV operators to low-cost, Over-the-Top (OTT) service providers. Pay TV business model was facing great competition from video streaming providers like Netflix and Hulu. So as a test to check the trend, Dish Network joined OTT video delivery market by launching Sling TV across US.
It is clear that Dish Network is trying to shift its focus towards internet TV services by launching Sling TV apps for Android Play TV and Apple TV. However, the competition in the video streaming industry has increased with the arrival of telecom giants. Moreover, telecom giants like Verizon Communications Inc. have introduced zero-rated plans for their online TV services, thereby making their offers cheaper than other OTT providers. Sling TV is showing great potential to grow with its rich content, media and expansion to Apple TV and Play TV, but will have to stay sharp at the pricing side as well.