Dish's Sling TV tops internet TV providers with 2.21M subscribers

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Sling TV reached 2.21 million subscribers during the fourth quarter, Dish announced on Wednesday, marking the first time the company has broken Sling figures out from broader numbers.




That puts it ahead of AT&T's DirecTV Now, which has some 1.2 million customers, and Sony's PlayStation Vue, which is estimated to have 670,000 people, according to TechCrunch. Hulu has about 450,000 live TV customers, while Google's YouTube TV has somewhere north of 300,000.

Sling has enjoyed several advantages. It was one of the first major internet TV services to launch, and also one of the first to offer ESPN to sports addicts. It remains one of the cheaper options on the market -- plans start at $20 per month, and can be customized with add-on packages for channels like HBO.

Apple device owners can watch Sling TV on the Web, or on a dedicated app for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV. Some other supported platforms include Android, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, and smart TVs.

Apple was at one point rumored to have wanted to become a TV provider itself, but encountered too much negotiation resistance to its idea of a low-cost "skinny" channel bundle. It's now moving ahead with its own show slate, premiering in 2019.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,969member
    If they could provide locals that would be great!
  • Reply 2 of 20
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    We’ve gone back and forth between Sling and Direct TV Now. The latter IMO has a better interface, but we’ve found the quality of transmission to be spotty. For example the NBA All Star game the other night was so pixelated, it was near impossible to watch. We don’t watch a lot of network tv, so when we do tune in, and get lowered than SD quality, it’s pretty frustrating. We did a quick free trial with Sling, and watched the game there. Picture quality was miles better. The Apple TV 4 deal through Direct TV is it’s best feature.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    macxpress said:
    If they could provide locals that would be great!


    Some of the services have some or all of your locals.  I'm currently using Directv now, I signed up for the 3 month deal to get the free 4k Apple Tv.  Services isn't bad, but the lack of DVR is tough to deal with.  I was using a PS4 to stream Playstation Vue, but after switch to the Apple Tv the picture quality is massively improved(used the Vue app until my remaining month ran out).  Both Vue and Directv look good through the Apple tv, though I get occasional stuttering on the Direct. 

    Ive tried all of the services(though I tried youtube tv before they had dedicated apps on devices) and Vue is my favorite.  Directv is probably a better deal, especially if your adding HBO or Showtime for 5 bucks a month.  I'm going to give youtube tv another shot after my 3 months on Directv run out.  I found sling to be limited, worse streaming quality, and the price can jump quickly, but if you want a really skinny bundle its not bad.

    edited February 2018 eideard
  • Reply 4 of 20
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,007member
    Any Streaming service that come closer to A la Carte package choice than that will win in market place. People want to watch when,where and how, a package with there choice of channels at reasonable cost.
    DavidAlGregory
  • Reply 5 of 20
    d_2d_2 Posts: 56member
    Locals availability is mostly dependent on the market, not the OTT provider (Sling, ATT DT Now, Vue...)

    In my opinion, it’s the one advantage that the cable companies still has vs OTT, assuming you can’t do a blended OTT service with an HD Homerun/antenna for locals (my current configuration).

    All of that said – my local cable company has figured out that they finally better change their ways. They now offer a $22 a month package with all locals and I get to pick any 10 standard cable channels that I want. Progress ?
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 6 of 20
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,969member
    I would love to see a true a-la-carte service. Honestly, we're still not there. We still have to choose a package and get channels we may or may not want. I really only watch 3 channels. Why can't I just subscribe to just the 3 channels I want without paying for 20 other channels I don't watch?
  • Reply 7 of 20
    levi said:
    We’ve gone back and forth between Sling and Direct TV Now. The latter IMO has a better interface, but we’ve found the quality of transmission to be spotty. For example the NBA All Star game the other night was so pixelated, it was near impossible to watch. We don’t watch a lot of network tv, so when we do tune in, and get lowered than SD quality, it’s pretty frustrating. We did a quick free trial with Sling, and watched the game there. Picture quality was miles better. The Apple TV 4 deal through Direct TV is it’s best feature.
    This will sound stupid, but if you haven’t already double check that your stream is set to “best” or whatever DTV calls it. If remember correctly the lower quality setting is the default. 
  • Reply 8 of 20
    macxpress said:
    If they could provide locals that would be great!


    Some of the services have some or all of your locals.  I'm currently using Directv now, I signed up for the 3 month deal to get the free 4k Apple Tv.  Services isn't bad, but the lack of DVR is tough to deal with.  I was using a PS4 to stream Playstation Vue, but after switch to the Apple Tv the picture quality is massively improved(used the Vue app until my remaining month ran out).  Both Vue and Directv look good through the Apple tv, though I get occasional stuttering on the Direct. 

    Ive tried all of the services(though I tried youtube tv before they had dedicated apps on devices) and Vue is my favorite.  Directv is probably a better deal, especially if your adding HBO or Showtime for 5 bucks a month.  I'm going to give youtube tv another shot after my 3 months on Directv run out.  I found sling to be limited, worse streaming quality, and the price can jump quickly, but if you want a really skinny bundle its not bad.

    I’m beta testing DTV version 2 and it has the DVR feature you’re looking for. Really nice interface upgrade too. 
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 9 of 20
    I’m beta testing DTV version 2 and it has the DVR feature you’re looking for. Really nice interface upgrade too. 
    I've been trying to get into the beta, I want to at least test it before my 3 months are out.  That is the nicest thing about these services though, how easy it is to jump back and forth between them to try them out.  If the spring update brings Direct in line with Vue for DVR, then i'll likely be sticking with them.
    DavidAlGregorybshank
  • Reply 10 of 20
    macxpress said:
    If they could provide locals that would be great!
    Pair with HDHomeRun and you can use an app for you local channels too. 

     http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/02/20/how-to-watch-live-broadcast-tv-on-your-apple-tv-without-cable/
  • Reply 11 of 20
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    levi said:
    We’ve gone back and forth between Sling and Direct TV Now. The latter IMO has a better interface, but we’ve found the quality of transmission to be spotty. For example the NBA All Star game the other night was so pixelated, it was near impossible to watch. We don’t watch a lot of network tv, so when we do tune in, and get lowered than SD quality, it’s pretty frustrating. We did a quick free trial with Sling, and watched the game there. Picture quality was miles better. The Apple TV 4 deal through Direct TV is it’s best feature.
    This will sound stupid, but if you haven’t already double check that your stream is set to “best” or whatever DTV calls it. If remember correctly the lower quality setting is the default. 
    Not at all. I wasn’t aware of this feature. I’ll take a look. Much appreciated 
    JaiOh81
  • Reply 12 of 20
    I am trying out DirecTV Now with the 3 months for $10/mo. Deal right now. I use it with an Apple TV 4k.

    They also have a deal where you can pre-pay for 3 months ($35/mo.) and get a free Apple TV 4k.

    Considering it as I can use another Apple TV and that is a good deal.

    Service is ok. Nothing special but has most channels I watch which is not a great many.

    Cancelled regular DirecTV sat. Service not long ago.

    Suppose to be adding some sort of DVR capability very shortly or so I have heard. It is in some kind of beta testing.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    macxpress said:
    If they could provide locals that would be great!
    I am the opposite, I care nothing about local TV. Cannot think of the last time I spent an hour watching CBS, NBC, ABC, The CW or Fox.

    I have cycled through DTVN, Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling over the last year +.
    They all have bundles just like cable and all are strapped to subsidies fir Pro sports. On Sling, one package is tied to ESPN and the other to Fox Sports. I want a la carte and not a dime going to Disney (owner of ESPN) or Rupert Murdoch (Faux Newz and Sports).

    I want real a la carte- put up a list of channels and let us pick x number of channels for x Dollars. Make sports pay per view so I can watch the 4-5 College FB games I want to see instead of subsidizing ESPN’s 24/7/365 Sports Gossip. Disney money and greed has ruined College Football (the Alabama Invitational Tournament) and that has a lot to do with the decline in ratings- few outside Alabama appreciate their unending worship of ‘Bama football. When ESPN starts showing GPAs of Football Players alongside their game stats give me a call. I am sure all those kids majoring in “Sports Management” have bright careers ahead of them at Wal-Mart stocking the shelves.

    For now I have DTVN as it gives me free HBO for life and does not meter Streaming data on AT&T’s network. Streaming any other service on a mobile device would eat your data plan quickly.

    When someone lets me pick the handful of channels I actually watch, they will get my business. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    I’m beta testing DTV version 2 and it has the DVR feature you’re looking for. Really nice interface upgrade too. 
    I've been trying to get into the beta, I want to at least test it before my 3 months are out.  That is the nicest thing about these services though, how easy it is to jump back and forth between them to try them out.  If the spring update brings Direct in line with Vue for DVR, then i'll likely be sticking with them.
    Agreed. Using DTVN but the interface is horrible and is awful on Roku (I have both Apple TV and Roku devices). The image quality on a high quality network connection can get crappy at times suggesting they need to spend some money on peering with the ISPs. With a Comcast 120+ MBPS connection there should be no issues with picture quality - same on AT&T LTE as I can see the tower from my driveway.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    wood1208 said:
    Any Streaming service that come closer to A la Carte package choice than that will win in market place. People want to watch when,where and how, a package with there choice of channels at reasonable cost.
    The only service providing "when" comparable to cable/sat dvr is VUE.  30 days min availability for just about everything they carry.

    We sub to VUE and Sling, breadth of coverage works for 2-family extended household. We only added Sling for access to Bloomberg TV. Not only does VUE own the dvr, PQ is as good as anyone's best.

    Guess I should mention we left DirecTV after 20+years. Billing w/2 services still half of D* cost. 
  • Reply 16 of 20
    wood1208 said:
    Any Streaming service that come closer to A la Carte package choice than that will win in market place. People want to watch when,where and how, a package with there choice of channels at reasonable cost.
    The only service providing "when" comparable to cable/sat dvr is VUE.  30 days min availability for just about everything they carry.

    We sub to VUE and Sling, breadth of coverage works for 2-family extended household. We only added Sling for access to Bloomberg TV. Not only does VUE own the dvr, PQ is as good as anyone's best.

    Guess I should mention we left DirecTV after 20+years. Billing w/2 services still half of D* cost. 
  • Reply 17 of 20
    macxpress said:
    If they could provide locals that would be great!

    Some of the services have some or all of your locals.  I'm currently using Directv now, I signed up for the 3 month deal to get the free 4k Apple Tv.  Services isn't bad, but the lack of DVR is tough to deal with.  

    I’m beta testing DTV version 2 and it has the DVR feature you’re looking for. Really nice interface upgrade too. 
    I'm beta testing the new DTV Now also and I can't stand the interface. It is so hodge-podge and herky-jerky. I guess different strokes for different folks. ;D  And I'm disappointed in the DVR capability because you can't use it to pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, which is something I do quite often do with my current DVR box, especially when watching sports.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    d_2 said:

    All of that said – my local cable company has figured out that they finally better change their ways. They now offer a $22 a month package with all locals and I get to pick any 10 standard cable channels that I want. Progress ?
    I just got a piece of direct mail with that same offer from Spectrum. I must admit it is tempting because the list of cable channels you can choose from includes the channels I watch most often, and local TV and 10 cable channles is all I really need. BUT it will only work with their internet service, or so they say. And there is no DVR functionality. They claim that I can install one of their cable cards in my Tivo and I'd be able to use my Tivo's DVR capabilities, which might work. They are offering a free 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so I might give it a test drive.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    macxpress said:
    I would love to see a true a-la-carte service. Honestly, we're still not there. We still have to choose a package and get channels we may or may not want. I really only watch 3 channels. Why can't I just subscribe to just the 3 channels I want without paying for 20 other channels I don't watch?
    A true a la carte experience is most closely matched by simply purchasing episodes from iTunes or Google Play and perhaps Amazon. If you only watch a handful of programs, it is cheaper than these subscription plans, and generally very good quality transmission or download. And no commercials.  This seems to be an often overlooked option, but after first cutting the cird some years ago, we used downloads almost exclusively, (plus some over-the-air via antennnae) and it was a very good, true VoD option. We later added netflix streaming to our disk rental (which is still a great service btw) and My music streaming subscription with Google added ad-free Youtube, so more than enough to watch. 
    bshank
  • Reply 20 of 20
    No body is addressing the fact that they TEMPORARILY have 2.2mm customers because they are giving hardware (Apple TV, Roku, Discounted services) for three month but once full price kicks in, you'll see tons of people leaving and that 2.2 will drop unless they continue or sweeten the offers. 
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