Sling TV logo

Big news for consumers and the industry today! DISH announced that it will launch Sling TV, a live over-the-top (OTT) television service in the first quarter of 2015, and Roku will be one of the very first platforms to get it. For the first time ever in the U.S., consumers will be able to subscribe to a live TV package for viewing solely over the Internet. This milestone puts us miles closer to a world where one day all TV will be streamed.

For $20 per month, subscribers will get access to ‘The Best of Live TV’ core package, with 12 top TV networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel delivered directly through the Roku platform. This package also features loads of Video-On-Demand (VOD) content as well as unique content from Maker Studios, the global leader in online short-form video.

Sling_Food_Network_mini_guide

The Sling TV experience can be tailored with add-on packs to access additional programming, at $5 per month. These include a ‘Kids Extra’ and a ‘News & Info Extra’ add-on, with a ‘Sports Extra’ package coming soon. Sling TV expects to expand its core package, VOD content, online video and add-on packs throughout 2015.

Sling TV subscribers will be able to pause, rewind and fast forward most live channels and VOD content. For certain channels, the service includes a 3-Day Replay feature that gives customers the ability to watch shows that have aired in the past three days so no DVR is needed.

We expect Sling TV to be available to all *current-generation Roku players and Roku TV models in the U.S.

For more information on the launch, you can follow Sling TV on Twitter @Sling, or read DISH’s full press release here.

We can’t wait!

*Current generation players are those introduced after June 2011 and include Roku 3 (4200X), Roku 2 (2720X), Roku 1 (2710X), Roku Streaming Stick, both HDMI (3500X) and Roku Ready (3400X, 3420X) versions, Roku LT (2400X, 2450X, 2700X), Roku 2 HD (3000X), Roku 2 XD (3050X), Roku 2 XS (3100X) and the Roku HD (2500X).

About Steve Shannon

General Manager, Content and Services
Posted in Industry News, Roku Channels, US Channels | Tagged , , , , |
97 Comments
  • Lori Matteson

    OMG!! I am waiting with baited breath. I will sign up right away. I am cableless because they just keep upping the price every month. When it it $230 a month I had had enough.

  • dwaign

    Will Fox News Live be available ???

    • bigyaz

      There’s a link in this story to the press release. Follow that and you can get all the info rather than asking others to do it for you.

    • Michael Samhain Moon

      Not at the moment. Fox in dispute with dish. Probably be with the news package in future.

    • Mars

      No, not at launch. Sling TV is delaying the Fox News roll-out, some say it is a liberal media conspiracy, others say it is a public service designed to slowly introduce Fox viewers to actual news. Your guess is probably not as good as mine.

      • bluesldeguitar

        You libs have to inject politics into everything. So condescending and smug. Do you have trouble passing a mirror without kissing it?

      • Stephen Eck

        Ha! Coming from someone who is required to gather information from multiple media outlets I can safely say that you are probably brain dead, or brain washed. Fox News is rated the second most unbiased news coverage, real times and story broadcasting network in America, first is yahoo. Do your research instead of confirming to the garbage of the masses.

    • gravyman

      Hopefully soon. The slanted garbage on cnn is unbearable.

    • Chuck Cortes

      LOL, Fox News, you must be joking. I guess you must like being lied to 24/7. Please, if they add Fox news to this I will definitely not pay $20 for this and you fools deserve to be charged twice as much for getting Fox News because thats how dumb you are.

      • Dar

        Yeah? When they add Fox News, I WILL be subscribing. And you’ll still be living in your Mom’s basement complaining about conservatives. Get a life you dumb chuck.

        • Guest

          Fox News is not news, it is hate-filled garbage. Conservatives — in their contemporary radical, slash and burn iteration — have destroyed America.

          • jose

            hey you liberal junk, we have freedom of the press. liberals like you are the ones who are really destroying America

          • Vanns40

            Please cite fact to your assertions.

          • blueslideguitar

            I nearly forgot, anybody who disagrees with a liberal about anything is a hater, which makes it okay for liberals to hate them. Circular reasoning at it’s best. Is the tinfoil hat comfy?

      • SamIamTwo

        LOL, Look a liberal hater who would not know his arse from a hole in the ground. Why, cause his cortex is twisted will the massive liberal ONE SIDED media…and you know it cause you exhibit the hate they push…

      • bluesslideguitar

        Yeah, I get it – anybody who disagrees with you is a liar. How open minded and tolerant of you. Liberals believe in free speech – for those who are smart enough to agree with them. If not, you are stupid, or evil, or a liar, or crazy, or dishonest, or all of the above. They are so naturally superior that the rest of us are supposed to just shut up and come along quietly. Being lied to – har! Do you like your doctor? Are you keeping them?

    • A

      I would sign up if Fox News Channel and Fox Business News was available. I have no interest in the channels they are offering.

  • Jim Anderson

    Hot (you know what). The FCC is already looking at setting things up so that there will be many providers like this, not just Sling TV, but there’s already also Nimble TV (unfortunately, that one still uses the cable industry ‘tier’ model). Also, it looks likely that the sports package will be very light on coverage as DISH has few major sports channels and doesn’t have some of the big ones either although those named have always been there. And you can get weather already through the WeatherNation channel on Roku or you can cast it from the web.

  • what would be even better is if Dish could start the service the best way possible. With a consumer promise that 20.00 USD a month means actually 20.00 USD on the bill. Don’t kill us with fees, and then dont call us every month asking us to “upgrade” to a larger more costly package. That, and please allow multiple sign in’s. I have multiple streaming devices in the same home. And like normal people, we move around.

  • CNC

    It would be nice if they gave us channels to choose from.

    • Willie Wilmette

      And let us stream to our phones or laptops.

      • hammerpocket

        “Supported Internet-connected devices for Sling TV are expected to include Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, select LG Smart TVs, Roku players, Roku TV models, select Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Mac and PC.”

  • If TCM is available with this, I am SO THERE.

    • Mark Ate A Shark

      It is beyond me why TCM does not have its own channel on Roku. $5 or $6 per month just for TCM and I’d be in. Or, added to this package, and I’d be all-in. For the Sling, not a bad start, but for $20 you’d basically be getting two ESPN channels . . . and a collection of mish-mash channels with middle-of-the-road fare that are the very reason I cut the cable five months ago.
      And for that reason, I’m out.

      • Chris Brass

        If TCM would create their own personal channel I would easily subscribe to it. I’ve already written to them to tell them that they should, but not holding my breath to hear back from them anytime soon

      • ditch ESPN and ESPANOL

        I will gladly trade in the stupid sports channels for more “mish mash”. History has vikings and all the other cool shows. AMC has walking dead and better call saul, not to mention CNN instead of the goofy CNN international which seems like an infomercial for Africa and Dubai for some reason.

    • TYPE O NEGATIVE

      Time Warner Archive has many of the same movies as TCM.

      I bought my mother a ROKU, and she bought the TWA yearly package for $89, so it’s $7.50 a month instead of $10.

      She was surprised at how many movies are played on both. She even said between this and GETtv (if you have it in your area), she would dump cable (she’s only been holding on for TCM).

    • heywally

      Write TCM like I do, with a polite query every few months or so. Of course, they never respond so, minus to them on the PR. I would pay $5.95 per month for TCM.

      The Sling package has 3 channels that I want – ESPN, ESPN2 and HGTV but I don’t want to pay for the rest and don’t like the mentioned limitations.

      It’s great though as a big step, along with HBO coming up.

  • Disqus User

    I might consider this if I could not load the Sling channel and access ESPN and ESPN2 through the WatchESPN channel. Any chance of that? One of the reasons I got rid of DirectTV is because I don’t want my kids watching Disney Channel.

    • iplayoutside

      I can’t find the specific article, but I remember it being mentioned that you could use a SlingTV log in for the WatchESPN App.

  • Todd

    I imagine they’ll add more channels as the year goes on (really want to see TCM, AMC, FX, FXX, USA on here), I’m sure they’re still negotiating with other networks, but this is the start to something incredibly awesome.

    • What You Pay For Sports

      I expect Fox and Dish to come to terms fairly soon, though I suspect only FX would make it into the main channel lineup. Expect Fox News to be in the “News & Info Extra” pack and Fox Sports 1 & 2 to be part of the “Sports Extra” pack when it gets introduced.

      Don’t count on USA Network anytime soon. Comcast owns USA network, and Dish will be screaming and Congress & the FCC about Comcast’s data caps giving it an unfair advantage over a service like Sling TV. That fight will keep NBCU channels off Sling TV, merger terms be damned.

  • cindy

    Do you have to have cable to get them is my question?

    • EnTerr

      No need for cable TV – but you will need high-speed internet service (be it of the cable or DSL type)

    • David Shiflet

      did you not ready the article???

  • EnTerr

    The artist formerly known as “DishWorld”.
    Now with North American content!

    • Shecky

      We currently use DishWorld and the service has been great – for the most part. A few instances of “Service unavailable now, try again later” are definitely disappointing, but I’m hoping those growing pains are being ironed out as they gain more experience with this type of solution.

  • imarriedanaxemurderer

    Fox by itself…5$ a mo. Blaze TV…you have to pay me 5$ a mo to watch.

  • Bill Eastman

    HOW LONG will the $20 last and does $20 REALLY mean $20 or does it mean $30 by the time they add taxes and fees? I would like it better if I could pick my own 10 channels for $20, but don’t think that will ever happen.

    • YEEHAWMAN

      it might at the current rate

    • What You Pay For Sports

      When I tried out DishWorld a couple of months ago, the $10/month was actually $10, no extra fees or taxes. So I’m willing to take Dish at their word here. If Sling TV turns out to be more than $20, every news outlet and blogger in America will hammer them for it.

      Plus, the channels included in this get carriage fees of less than $12 on most cable services. ESPN & ESPN2 combined get $6.49/month per subscriber, but the Scripps channels (Food Network, HGTV, etc.) are dirt cheap — probably no more than $0.15/month each on this service. So even if these 12 channels get a premium for being part of this, chances are it doesn’t add up to more than $14 in carriage fees — tight margin for Dish, but they can probably make it work.

      Be prepared for the “Sports Extra” pack to cost at least $10/month, though, especially if it includes NFL Network, Fox Sports 1 & 2, and the Big Ten & SEC Networks.

    • David Shiflet

      I signed up for the free 7 day trial and it was like 21 and change with tax. no fees. Try being optimistic about this being a step in the RIGHT direction instead of poo pooing on a great idea!

    • Will Hawkins

      I agree totally Bill! I have Directv. The bill keeps going up. I have gotten help to lower it, but I would like to find a server which I could pick 10 channels of my own choosing for say $20. I wonder though if like Directv, the bill of $20 will only last a year and then keep going up…and that $20 doesn’t include the fee of the equipment and taxes etc. But I have gotten to thinking recently I wish that I could find a TV server which would provide me with 10 channels of my choosing instead of paying say $75+ for 150 channels…many of which I don’t use. I got this idea after listening to Dave Ramsey, financial advisor.

  • Rob Speck

    Future of cable and satellite tv no cables no dish on the house…..best news ever except the installers won’t be happy.

  • donna

    it would be awesome if it was like a 10 pack channel deal and we picked the 10 channels and could pick our add on channels …..

  • CrackerJacks

    I just don’t know, this looks all looks good, but… $20 per month for only 12 channels? And this ad only tells you what 8 of them are so I’m assuming the other 4 unmentioned channels aren’t really that fantastic. The 8 listed here aren’t even all that great. You’ve got to have more networks join and maybe give people a mix and match deal. Maybe 20 bucks per month for 15 channels of your choice. It get’s real old to be stuck with a “bundle” deal and you have no control over what networks are part of the bundle. This could be the wave of the future, and I hope it is, but companies like dish have only one motivator, taking as much of your money as possible.

  • YEEHAWMAN

    Nice job on getting the carriage rights deals in place to land these channels. I would like to add on a Science + History package as well as Premium Movie Channels of course. Im sure you could conquer the world of SMUT TV as well and offer romance packages.

  • Limin

    How much talk want to bet that HBO will be available on the sling tv channel lineup come April!!

    • Jimmy Starbuck

      Nope. They’re coming out with their own stand alone streaming service soon.

  • Off Grid

    Hooray for Sling – I hope it does play out as detailed.
    Give me a Menu – like 1 from column A and 2 from B, etc. and I would prefer it, but I’ll probably go for it. I cut the cable over a year ago and with a digital antenna I have all my local TV stations, PBS, Fox, and some independents, to total over 20 channels. I can get over 45, but I drop the Hispanic and kids stuff, most cooking and shopping ones, and I only miss a few others.
    I feel that the big guys will have to get with it at some point. I’d never go back to 200 channels of which 15 might be ones I’d ever watch. I’d rather read a book or play golf.
    The cables must be dropping viewers at the prices they’re charging. What kind of business plan says “Sell a few items they want and stuff 10 times more unwanted ones into the bag too”. In 1960 to 2000 that worked because of no options, but today the tech is going to drown them if they don’t wise up. The smartest vendor will figure out how to sell the channels piecemeal, viewers choice, and still get rich.
    NFL network is to me the dumbest move they could have made. I bet the stats have crashed on games exclusive to their one network vs NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, if they were available. Enjoy and be free.

    • BL

      would like to be able to watch the golf channel on sling,would pay extra?

      • jeffa

        Not going to happen anytime soon; t’s an NBCU/Comcast owned channel.

  • Bippy Izod

    This is the news this family has been waiting for. This plus HBO will be ala carte HOPEFULLY will save us from spending on TV shows we NEVER ever watch.

  • grapemanca

    How about Canada?

    Roku in Canada is currently a cruel farce. There might be 4 channels of actual, watchable content. The rest is amateur hour. Frankly, Roku should be banned from sales in Canada due to fraud.

    Adding Sling for Canadians, however, might make it worthwhile.

  • Deena Nelson

    Can NOT wait. now, if CBS would just get on ROKU I will be so freaking set!!!

    • Rickman

      Depending on where you live, you can already watch CBS online for $8/month. with CBS All Access. Subscribers can also download the CBS app to watch shows then next day on selected devices (not on Roku yet).

    • Jenny

      CBS can be watched through Plex.

  • Dave Munger

    This seems aimed at a non-existent demographic, that being people who want to ditch cable service but still ONLY want to watch live TV or what is likely pretty limited VOD shows. With no DVR-like feature, I personally would find it pretty useless.

    • Rickman

      It’s for people who want to watch the cable-only TV channels that offer 24×7 sports news, 24×7 news, and namby-pamby “family” fair. I have all the Sling TV channels on my cable TV service and never watch any of them–except TNT when it aired “Falling Skies.”

      • doofus

        Vikings, Pawn Stars, Walking Dead, Better Call Saul… that right there is worth $20 if you pay $2 per episode on MGO or Amazon ($2 x 4 x 4 = $28). Plus CNN instead of international one that is god awful. How is that not worth it? Zombies and Vikings are namby pamby?

  • kellye

    I updated my roku 2 found my new channel for sling tv….when i go to it it tells me to click ok to dismiss….channel wont load….any andvice?

    • jeffa

      It only works on Roku 3 right now.

      • David Shiflet

        No it works on the Roku 2 XS

  • tatere

    What would make this even better is if it worked with Roku. Or if Roku worked at all. The link on the Sling TV site goes to https://owner.roku.com/add/a-cryptic-id-of-some-kind and that domain apparently is broken or doesn’t exist. The signin page on the Roku site similarly doesn’t work. The channel store on the Roku UI is not functioning. I’m sure they’re loving this rollout.

    • David Shiflet

      Worked fine on my Roku 2 XS and Roku 3 NO ISSUES.

  • Mr.X

    Since this is a new service, not many people may be familiar on how to download the SlingTV App across different devices.
    I was unable to locate the SlingTV app through Roku, so I had to dig through the SlingTV help page to find the link buried within http://help.sling.com/. I have yet to receive an e-mail introduction welcoming me to the service and no instructions on
    where to download the app on my devices. You’re leaving customers hanging and not a good way to start releasing this service to your beta-customers.

    • Marcjw

      Agreed. A little uat can go a long way. The entire Sling setup process on my Roku3 was much more difficult than it should’ve been.

  • Chuck Cortes

    OK, now I’m annoyed, I set up for the 7 day free trial, clicked the link for the Roku channel from the creaters website, clicked add channel but does not show up on my Roku. On top of that this app cannot be found on the Roku website without the creators link on their webpage and it doesnt show up on the Roku device store either. Whats the deal? I only have 7 days to try it out before I decide.

    • Jack Shepherd

      Chuck, I had a similar problem getting Sling TV to show up on my Roku SD. I subsequently discovered that the Sling TV app isn’t available on the SD model — probably because it’s about 5 years old, or not “current.”

      Anyway, I bought a Roku Streaming Stick yesterday, and the Sling TV app worked reasonably well until primetime. At about 9:00 ET, all channel streams went completely blank, and the channel interface and menu options were the only things visible onscreen. At around 10:30 or so, streaming images returned, but the channel navigation was absolute GARBAGE.

      It pains me to give Sling TV a bad review, because I really wanted this service to be a magic bullet for those of us who don’t want traditional cable, but the truth is the truth: The Roku app doesn’t get the job done in primetime right now. In all fairness, I’ve had good experiences with the Sling TV apps on both my smartphone and tablet, but I don’t want to watch TV on those devices exclusively.

  • Miley

    I just signed up for my 7 day free trial and can use it on both my Roku attached to my tv in the living room as well as in my bedroom. Seems like they said currently you can only use it on one device at a time. People are asking about local news channels here and if you check the Roku itself, there have been many new additions for news that should at least get you in your general area. They added a Phoenix channel and prior to that I think the closest was Las Vegas. There’s a lot more cities available though.
    The combination of the Sling, general Roku, Netflix and Amazon Prime – I have to say WHEN MY CURRENT 2-YEAR COMMITTMENT WITH THE CABLE COMPANY EXPIRES IN 8 MORE MONTHS (f-ers) I will drop the phone portion (which I have no land line but it was supposedly the cheapest way to “bundle” my plan) and cable, keeping only my Internet. My hope is some of the other channels I like will join up but I think this is a great start to saying goodbye (and good riddance) to the cable companies!
    The only other thing I remember from the initial sign up discussion (one device at a time) was that they don’t pro-rate if you drop the service say mid month. For $20, I’m excited to see how this turns out. Tired of paying for a 220 channel package of which I watch 10. I don’t know how those retarded little channels that no one in the world would want are going to stay in business. Time to go to Plan B for them.
    I do hope as channels come on board either with Roku or Sling (as we slowly back away from the cable companies) we’ll have the option to pick say those 10 we want to watch. Even if it was $2 for this channel, $5 for this channel for the entire month, I’d much prefer to pay for what I want without all the other crap. Nothing like scrolling down to find something to watch through 42 channels of junk no one wants to watch on my cable.
    One interesting point — when I called Cox Cable to downgrade my existing plan, NEVER do they tell you what the basic package cost or the basic phone service (again, I have no phone) costs are. I want BASIC BASIC and good speed Internet. What I was told was the phone was now going to be a flat $9.95 a month (and the best part is if I ever need it and plug my imaginary phone in, 911 will know my exact location in case of emergency) which was the cheapest way to go without “breaking my contract” and incurring fees…my cable went from Advanced TV Preferred (280+ channels) to TV Economy (155+ channels) though when printing out the channel lineup I see “TV Essential (50+) and TV Starter (10+) are available. You get ran into a big enough loop when you’re trying to do this, eventually you just give in so they’ll shut up and let you get off the phone, which I’m certain is the whole idea. As it turns out, my bill went from $155 a month to $115 a month, so at least it will pay for the Sling and Netflix now (maybe part of Amazon Prime if you break it down into a monthly rate).

  • Mike

    I never watched ESPN when I paid for cable, and I have no desire now to pay for a package that contains a bunch of crap I won’t ever watch. I’ll be interested when I can pay for only what I want to watch and that I think is worth the price.

    • ESPN KWEERS

      DITTO, ESPN is for dudes who like to watch other dudes run around in tight clothes.

  • LaLaLaLLLESTER

    I just cancelled my seven day trial yesterday. The reason I cancelled was that the 72 hour window to view previously aired shows only was available on about half of the channels. Since it was not available for ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS and CNN I cancelled. I also mentioned that the search utility was fairly weak as well. If the five channels I mentioned above had the 72 hour window to watch shows on those channels at my convenience I would have kept my subscription active.

    • daphuk?

      Why would you watch news, let alone sports, from 3 days ago? LOL

      • LaLaLaLLLESTER

        Why??? Like maybe working when that sports event is on and needing to watch it the next day? CNN has many programs other than hourly newsdesk stuff. Funny to be LOL’d by what looks like an H1Bvisa that doesn’t understand common american culture such as timeshifting TV shows???

  • pookie10061

    Nice if it worked and since it constantly has issues they’d give your money back, but no the company policy is to NEVER give a refund as I was advised by a representative as well as her manager, fraud!

  • Maureen

    I am unable to activate a second Roku streaming stick for my home. When I try to activate, I put the code in that is given on the screen and it will not take it. Says I already have an account and the activation process stops there.

  • happyhannah4u

    Can you watch ABC, NBC and CBS? I’d like to get the network channels for news and some of their programming.

    • 20 local channels await

      Get an antenna for $15 at walmart.

      • happyhannah4u

        I have an amplifier antenna but I live in a dip surrounded by mountains. The network tv broadcast antennas are too far away for a digital signal to reach here. I live in a trio -cities area with one station in each city. Before the TV conversion, I got a weak signal for some of the stations. After the conversion, none.

  • happyhannah4u

    Can you watch network tv channels via sling tv on a Roku 3?

  • ditch espn

    This is almost a life saver but can I trade the stupid ESPN and Spanish language channel in for Foxnews?

  • Riya Khurana
  • Kristi Loius

    Arya has probably had the most adventures of the Northern siblings and we last saw her heading off to Braavos possibly to find the Faceless Men and her friend the assassin Jaqen H’ghar.

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  • Jayson

    Soooo We subscribe to DISH service then NEED to subscribe to SlingTV just to view the online stream? I call Shinanigans.

    On another note, I vacationed in Canada and Sling emailed me after a few weeks saying I’m accessing from outside the US and they don’t support it and closed the account immediately.

    I was looking forward to Sling but their practices are so bad to the level of the Comcast horror stories.

  • Managed to unblock Sling TV outside US thanks to these steps https://thevpn.guru/unblock-watch-sling-tv-outside-usa-vpn-dns-proxy

  • Deb Bishop

    Our sling on roku keeps cutting out when watching shows it is really irritating and our internet is fast enough because we do not have any problems with hulu, netflix or amazon. Hope this improves or we will be dropping the service nothing worse them watching a show and missing the end

  • Rad-Rabbit

    Sling needs to be able to stream on an ENTIRE ROKU account and not just one device at a time. We have 5 Roku’s under one roof and I can assure you that we will not continue our subscription after our 7 day trial until this policy is changed. Otherwise it’s cheaper to have traditional Cable or DirectTV.

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  • Poonam Pandey

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  • Julius Sudderth

    I just cut the cord from cable,i was paying around 100 bucks. I got sling on roku for 20 plus three 5$ add ons and its pretty good,so far! Its a shame that the Big ten network isnt available…i would gladly pay five bucks to get the channel and watch my buckeys,third tier games. I guess I’ll be at the sports bar,spending 60-80$ a sitting… Note to the B1G commissioner,please free the B1G from cable constraints. Youll make more money that way!

  • Number Six

    I’d be happy if it didn’t always drop off the connection right in the middle of a program, canceling this POS service until they can get it to work

  • Michele McKune

    I have seen stated that a Phoenix channel has been added, if this is so how do I find it?

  • Michele McKune

    If you live in Phoenix, and you have COX internet, they do NOT support roku, so I am pretty much sol

  • Jean Donnier

    Hello,

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    Good luck !

  • Jean Donnier

    Hello,

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