CES 2015: DISH Sling TV OTT service to go for $20, with ESPN

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 06 January 2015

DISH Network has revealed a few more concrete details of its over-the-top (OTT) video service, slated to launch in the first quarter of 2015. For $20 per month, customers can stream a range of content, including, surprisingly, ESPN. It also will pave the way for ŕ la carte-ish TV bundles.

Sling TV will require no commitment, contract, credit check or hardware installation. Users can sign up by the month and access content online and via Amazon Fire TV, Google's Nexus Player, some Samsung and LG smart TVs, Roku, Xbox One, and iOS and Android apps.

"Sling TV provides a viable alternative for live television to the millennial audience," said Joe Clayton, DISH president and CEO. "This service gives millions of consumers a new consideration for pay-TV; Sling TV fills a void for an underserved audience."

At launch, Sling TV will offer a core programming package with live and video-on-demand fare, and, crucially, two optional add-on packs.

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. The package also has content from short-form video specialist Maker Studios.

But the really interesting aspect here, apart from beating DirecTV to the first-ever OTT ESPN option, is the fact that consumers can access additional programming for $5 per month—making for a step closer to true ŕ la carte TV, where consumers pay for what they actually watch. The Kids Extra add-on offers Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV and Duck TV. And the News & Info Extra add-on offers HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV. The satcaster said that a Sports Extra package is coming soon.

Sling TV expects to expand its programming add-on packs throughout 2015.

Across content, customers will be able to pause, rewind and fast-forward most live channels and VOD content. For certain channels, the service includes a three-day replay feature that gives customers the ability to watch some shows that have aired in the past three days.