Sling TV was made available to the general public just over one year ago this month. Although it has been a bumpy road a lot has changed with Sling TV over the last year. So let’s take a minute and look back on the story that is Sling TV.
Before The Announcement
If you really want to look at the background of Sling TV you have to go to DISH Network, a TV provider here in the United States. Over three years ago now they started the process of researching online streaming as a way to replace customers that they are losing to cord cutting.
Over the next two years they started focus groups to find out what kind of service people wanted and started to talk with content owners in an effort to strike a deal.
Now that we know Sling TV was in the works for years before it became public it makes you wonder what is in the works right now…
Jump forward to CES 2015 where Dish announces they are going to release a streaming service for cord cutters that will offer 10 (at that time) of the most popular cable channels for just $20 and will include packages for $5 allowing you to custom-build a TV service you wanted.
The service will not be made truly public until February 2015 and over the next few months’ new channels started to roll out in a steady rate bringing their core package of $20 a month to include 20 channels. Channels like AMC, History, and IFC are now part of the main $20 a month service. Even HBO would join Sling TV as their own add-on package.
There were bumps along the road as reliability of the service would be called into question especially early on. Many users experienced service outages especially around big events. Sling TV would counter these issues and over the rest of 2015 the service would slowly become more stable. Although it may not be 100% yet the issues most experienced are now a thing of the past. Recently Sling TV successfully handled the NCAA National Championship game without issue and even performed better than ESPN’s own streaming app.
ESPN’s president recently announced that they were pleased with the deal they made with Sling TV. This came to a great relief of many cord cutters who had heard rumors that ESPN may pull out if Sling TV became too successful.
As we start into Sling TVs second year of people public the future looks bright for the service. Even now there is still no true competitor to their service. (We do not count the Sony Vue service as a real competitor.) We are also promised a full new user interface to be rolled out any day now that promises an improved user experience.
We do have one idea at what the future of Sling TV holds: it was strongly hinted that Sling TV will be made available to additional devices in 2016. Now it is hard to say if this is the much asked for Apple TV or other devices like the recently added Channel Master DVR+ and a recent projector with Android built in.
So while we do not know a lot about the future, we do know that Sling TV has forever changed how cord cutting is viewed. The moment before and after Sling TV came out will be remembered as one of the greatest breaking points in corporate America.
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