Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Will Cord Cutters Buy Sling TV?

At the CES, Dish announced the release of Sling TV, a $20 a month bundle of cable networks that include ESPN, Disney, Discovery, HGTV, and Food.  Dish isn't worried that their customer base will switch to this lower priced service and I doubt that cable operators will worry either.  Despite being at a very attractive price point, the new service will not include any broadcast networks, but does include an odd assortment of cable nets, with a little bit for every interest.  I'm not sure how appealing the service will be.

Sling TV will include ESPN, but that might not be enough for the real sports fan who would want all the regional and national sports channels.  The sitcom and drama fan might like TBS and TNT, but they would also want more from other channels like AMC and USA.  The news junky gets CNN but nothing else.  And homes with children might like that Disney is being offered but they most likely would want Nick and Sprout and others.  For me, Sling TV is a little bit for everybody, not enough for anybody.  It looks more like a starter package to upgrade later with a cable operator. 

As to the cord cutters and nevers, Sling TV may be the appetizer to return them to full cord status.  But for the younger demo raised on You Tube, Netflix, and other OTT programming, Sling TV won't offer much incentive to purchase the subscription based service.  And while an OTT service of linear cable nets sounds nice, these same consumers have become more accustomed to on demand of programming they choose to watch at the time they determine.  Will Sling TV become an instant success; I doubt it and will have to wait and see how it is received.