How many people are cutting the cable thanks to new streaming options available these days? For Dish Network, the creator of Sling TV, the numbers continue to grow, pointing at a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. By cutting cable you can afford a new TV, but before you buy read the Most Important LED TV Features.
Sling TV is one of the more competitive streaming services available for cable cutters today, offering customizable package of live TV channels, some of the best sports packages available outside of cable/satellite, and additional services like access to HBO Now entertainment features. It was also created by Dish Network for such a time as this – a way to make up for dropping numbers of subscribers.
Just take a look at the latest Dish numbers: Dish Network has reported that Sling TV has around 500,000 subscribers after a year of service, but the company counts those subscribers along with its satellite subscribers to reach a total number. If satellite subscriptions are falling while Sling subscriptions are rising, no one would know at a glance…which is the point. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that those Sling subscriptions are actually hiding a loss. Even with Sling customers, Dish lost more than 80,000 subscriptions last year. Take away the 500,000-odd Sling watchers, and that number could potentially look much worse.
Interestingly, Dish is fully aware and honest about this turning axis. CEO Charlie Ergen has admitted that Sling TV is designed to pick up lost satellite subscribers and keep numbers as even as possible. The problem with that theory is that Sling is facing a whole lot of competition these days that it wasn’t a year ago. PlayStation Vue is going nationwide with a similar channel offering, HBO Now is available across a growing number of platforms, and AT&T has announced a streaming TV service of its own, fueled by DirecTV.
Can Sling stand against the new arrivals? Perhaps. One of the things that’s bothered us most about Sling in the past is its poor interface and reliability, but these have been overhauled in recent months to provide a better experience. For now, the game is still very close, and cable cutters are more numerous than ever.