February 21, 2018
Dish Network Feb. 21 announced that its Sling TV unit ended 2017 with more than 2.21 million subscribers – up 47% from 1.5 million subs at the end of 2016.
Launched in early 2015, Sling TV was the first standalone online TV service, offering access to 20 pay-TV channels priced from $20 monthly without a contract.
The service was the first to offer ESPN outside the pay-TV ecosystem. The concept was so new (Disney licensed ESPN as an experiment) that a blank screen aired during commercial breaks – underscoring marketers’ unfamiliarity with the distribution channel.
Today, online TV represents an alternative to cord-cutters and ongoing erosion of pay-TV households in the Netflix-fueled, over-the-top video era.