Dish Network made one of the big announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday by unveiling Sling TV, a $20 a month service that provides a selection cable TV channels without a cable TV contract. On the heels of that announcement, Microsoft revealed that Sling TV will be available exclusively through the Xbox One console.
Sling TV is an attempt to go after consumers who have made the decision to “cut the cord” and end their cable or satellite subscriptions. This growing consumer segment chooses to stream video over the internet through services, like Netflix or Hulu Plus, and pick up local channels using an over the air antenna. However, this still cuts them out of some of the major cable channels like ESPN.
The sports network and its ESPN2 sister channel will be joined by TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Travel Channel, CNN, and Disney Channel when Sling TV launches in the coming weeks, according to Tech Crunch.
The base package costs will cost $20 a month, but subscribers will be able to add packs of additional channels. For example, the Kids Extra pack is $5 more and comes with networks like Disney Junior and Boomerang. There’s also a News & Info Extra pack featuring Cooking Channel, HLN, and Bloomberg.
Xbox Live members will receive a month trial of Sling TV for free when it launches. The service will also be available on other streaming devices such as Roku set-top boxes and Roku-powered TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Google Nexus Player, and LG and Samsung Smart TVs. However, users are limited to only one stream at a time currently.
“Xbox is onboard as the first gaming console where Sling TV will be available, said Bassil El-Khatib, vice president of Sling TV. “We created the live Internet TV service for millennial consumers underserved by the Pay-TV industry. One of the keys to reaching this audience is being on the devices they use, and we know millions of consumers are turning on their Xbox every day to access content they love.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Sling TV as they bring this exciting new service to life, and we look forward to launching the Sling TV app on Xbox One in early 2015 as the first gaming console where the service is available,” said Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President, Marketing for Xbox. “We’re committed to bringing great entertainment options to gamers and out relationship with Sling TV is an important milestone in that journey and in offering more choices to our Xbox fans.”
Sony announced the PlayStation Vue service meant to appeal to cable cutters this past November. However, it will include 75 local and national channels and is slowly rolling out across the United States in the coming months.
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[Image via Sling TV, Daily Emerald]