Sling TV Bows Auto Record Feature in Time for March Madness

Streaming TV provider Sling TV March 15 announced the launch of its original feature Auto Record in time for March Madness basketball.

After users opt in, Auto Record automatically records content from NCAA Football, the NFL, the NBA, NCAA Men’s Basketball, MLB, the NHL, the Premier League, the NCAAW, the WNBA, Bundesliga and La Liga Santander. Games are subject to a subscriber’s Sling package and availability on Sling; each game is saved for three days after its live broadcast.

“We understand the passion our viewers have for sports, and with the introduction of Auto Record, we’re enhancing their streaming experience like never before,” Gary Schanman, group president for Dish Video Services, said in a statement. “With Auto Record, fans can catch the dunks, three pointers, and upsets offered on Sling.”

To access Auto Record, users will need to subscribe to DVR Plus for $5 a month. Once subscribed, users must accept and opt in, in order to access Auto Record. Then they can watch recorded games, including watching only the parts of the game they want without any interruption. Auto Record does not count toward the 200 hours of DVR space provided by DVR Plus.

In addition to Auto Record, Sling offers users other features to make watching multiple games easier. Sling has improved the sports scores feature and is rolling it out to users now. Users can browse all sports scores while streaming TV. The feature is available via a dedicated home screen row that enables users to check matchups, view scores and jump into live games, letting sports fans keep an eye on the latest scores while they switch between games, all in one view. Amazon, Android and Apple TV users have access to the latest version. Other devices will get their upgraded version soon, according to Sling. Another feature, Sports Side View, allows viewers to watch in a small screen overlay while still working on other things such as presentations and spreadsheets. It’s available by logging in at watch.sling.com.

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Auto Record is now available to Sling TV users on Roku, Samsung, Vizio and Xbox devices. All other devices will have access in the upcoming weeks, according to Sling. Sling is offering a free first month of DVR Plus, available to all new and former subscribers. For more information on the new Auto Record feature, visit Sling.com/value/DVR.

SVOD Service Fox Nation Expands to Dish TV and Sling TV

Fox Nation, Fox News Media’s subscription-based streaming service, has expanded distribution to Dish TV and Sling TV.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Dish and Sling to make our on-demand content more readily available to viewers who crave Fox Nation,” Fox News Media president Lauren Petterson said in a statement.

Beginning in mid-March, Dish customers will be able to add Fox Nation for $5.99 per month. Customers can purchase Fox Nation through the MyDish app, online at mydish.com/foxnation or by calling 1-800-333-DISH (3474). Once subscribed, customers can access Fox Nation via channel 296 in the guide, the On Demand menu or the Dish Anywhere app.

Fox Nation will be available to stream on Sling for $5.99 per month to all of its users on Sling TV and on Sling Freestream, beginning in mid-March.

Featuring more than 10,000 hours of content, Fox Nation’s range of programming includes exclusive series such as “Yellowstone: One-Fifty” hosted by Kevin Costner, “The History of the World in Six Glasses” hosted by Dan Aykroyd alongside fellow “Saturday Night Live” alumni, “Liberty or Death: The Boston Tea Party” helmed by Rob Lowe, and “Top Combat Pilot” with Dennis Quaid, among others. Fox Nation is also the home of programs such as “COPS” and “Crime Cam 24/7” with Sticks Larkin, as well as a multitude of documentaries including The Fall of the House of Murdaugh, Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax and The Dahmer Family Tapes.

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Fox Nation is a direct-to-consumer on-demand streaming service designed to complement the Fox News Channel experience with a members-only destination. The subscription service includes lifestyle and entertainment content, as well as historical documentaries and investigative series from a multitude of Fox News personalities at a cost of $5.99 a month. Launched in 2018, Fox Nation is available at foxnation.com and via app for iOS devices, Android devices, Fire TV, Apple TV, Google TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Fubo, Vizio TVs, and Samsung TVs, as well as DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV, Comcast Xfinity, Cox Contour and The Roku Channel.

Dish Drops 291,000 Sling TV Subs, 1.1 Million Satellite Customers in Third Quarter

The secular changes in the linear and online television market continue to escalate on the bottom line at Dish. The satellite TV operator Nov. 6 announced that net pay-TV subscribers decreased about 64,000 in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, compared to a net increase of around 30,000 subs in the year-ago quarter.

The company ended the period with 8.84 million subscribers, down more than 1.1 million subs from 10 million customers in the previous-year period. Dish closed the quarter with 6.72 million satellite subscribers and 2.12 million Sling TV subscribers.

That compared with 7.6 million pay-TV subs and 2.41 million Sling customers in the third quarter 2022.

The decrease in net Sling subscriber additions was primarily related to lower sub activations and higher sub disconnects. The online TV sub losses are notable considering Dish created the online TV market in 2015 with the rollout of Sling, which featured the first-ever standalone access to ESPN.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription video on-demand and live-linear OTT service providers, many of which are providers of our content and offer football and other seasonal sports programming direct to subscribers on an a-la-carte basis,” Dish said in a statement.

Sling TV Announces Enhanced Viewing Features

Sling TV has announced enhanced viewing features, including Live Sports Scores, Apple Purchase Capability, User Profiles and In App “One Click” Content Purchase.

With Live Sports Scores, viewers can still access real-time scores to help them find the most exciting games to watch, but now they can do it across all the major leagues Sling carries, including NCAA Football and Basketball, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and MLB. Sling has added team records, seeding and ranking, game clock, live scores and the network the game is on. If the user is a subscriber they can immediately click into the game, other users will be sent to a page to add the content. The Sports Scores feature is built into the home screen and can be accessed next to the video player, so viewers can quickly find the game or the scores they need.

With Apple Purchase Capability, Sling users can use their Apple ID to buy Sling, manage purchases, subscriptions and add-ons within the app utilizing Apple Pay. Sling and Apple users can pay quickly in 44 currencies using payment methods associated with their Apple ID, access their purchased content on all devices the app supports and restore purchases on new devices. It also allows customers to quickly view payment history and manage all their Sling TV subscriptions or add-ons in one place.

With In App “One Click” Content Purchase, free and current Sling paid subscribers can now immediately subscribe to recommended content they find through search, the home page and on partner platforms.

User Profiles on All Devices enables users to create personalized profiles that have all their favorite shows, movies and DVR recordings. The feature allows for up to four additional user profiles that can be labeled and color-coded to easily differentiate among multiple users. Other features include more relevant personalized content on the Home Screen of each profile; the ability to schedule, manage and watch DVR recordings by profile; the ability to pick up where you left off with profile-specific “Continue Watching”; and favorite channels specific to each profile. 

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“Our top priority at Sling is to provide our customers with the best television experience possible. We want to put people in charge of their entertainment,” Gary Schanman, EVP and group president, Dish Video Services, said in a statement. “That means, we look for ways to deliver new innovative functions that elevate the viewing experience and give customers more personalized features and menus allowing them to control what they watch, and how they watch and interact with the information available to them on our service.”

Dish Network Q2 Subs Fall Below 9 Million as Pay-TV, Sling Services Continue to Shed Customers

Satellite TV operator Dish Network Aug. 8 reported it ended the second quarter (ended June 30) with 8.9 million pay-TV subscribers, including a record low 6.9 million Dish TV subscribers and 2 million Sling TV subscribers.

The overall tally is down more than 1 million subscribers from the same fiscal period last year when there were 7.8 million Dish TV customers and 2.2 million Sling subs. The decline is significant considering Dish created the online pay-TV market in 2015 — a market now dominated by Hulu and YouTube TV.

The lone bright spot for Dish: The average pay-TV subscriber paid more ($104.07) for monthly satellite service in the quarter than a year ago ($101.30).

Dish’s foray into the wireless market remains challenged as well. The company said it lost 188,000 customers in the quarter to end the period with more than 7.7 million subscribers, down from more than 7.8 million during the prior-year period, when it lost 210,000 customers.

Overall, Dish posted net income of $200 million on revenue of $3.9 billion, down from net income of $523 million on revenue of $4.2 billion a year ago.

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Dish’s Sling TV Loses 234,000 Q1 Streaming Subs, 318,000 Satellite Pay-TV Subs

Subscriber losses keep adding up for satellite TV operator Dish. Net pay-TV subscribers decreased about 552,000 in the first quarter (ended March 31), compared to a decrease of around 462,000 subs in the year-ago quarter. The sub loss included 234,000 fewer Sling TV customers, identical to the 234,000 Sling subs lost in the prior-year period.

Dish closed the quarter with 9.20 million pay-TV subscribers, including 7.10 million satellite subscribers and 2.10 million online TV subscribers. That compared with 10.3 million subs during the prior-year period, which included almost 8 million satellite subs and 2.25 million Sling customers.

Despite creating the online pay-TV market in 2015 with the launch of Sling TV, the platform significantly trails later competitors, including market leader YouTube TV with 5 million subs, and Hulu + Live TV with 4.5 million subs.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription video on-demand and live-linear OTT service providers,” Dish said in the regulatory filing.

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Sling Freestream Adds Nine New Free Channels

Sling Freestream has added nine new channels, and now offers more than 265 channels and 41,000 on demand titles free.

The Freestream library now contains six true crime devoted channels and four home improvement channels.

The new Sling Freestream channels include: 

  • Hipstr, which features  documents, comedies, indies, “old school cool,” diverse voices, crime and “scary out of this world shows”;
  • Real Disaster Channel, with disaster and survival stories;
  • Crime & Justice, in which real-life investigations unfold;
  • Property & Reno, for dream home inspiration, expert advice, and incredible reveals;
  • 21 Jump Street, dedicated to cop series “21 Jump Street,” where cops masquerade as high school students and hunt for criminals, starring Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Holly Robinson Peete and Peter DeLuise;
  • America’s Dumbest Criminals, which is all about the lighter side of crime and features hosts Debbie Alan and Daniel Butler as they look at lawbreakers through a humorous lens;
  • FilmRise Anime, with anime including sagas “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” “Beyblade” and “Sonic X” plus hit classics like “Lupin the Third,” “Saint Seiya,” “Shin Tetsujin 28,” and more;
  • FilmRise Classic TV, featuring six decades of primetime hits such as “21 Jump Street,” “Hunter” and “Greatest American Hero”;
  • FilmRise Free Movies, featuring film stars such as Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Zac Efron and more in our massive selection of free blockbusters.

 

Sling Freestream is available through the Sling app on Roku, Comcast, LG, Samsung, Xbox and Vizio devices.

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Cinedigm Expands FAST Partnership With Sling TV

Cinedigm March 9 announced a distribution deal with Sling TV for select branded free ad-supported streaming television channels, including Midnight PulpThe Country Network and AsianCrush now available on Sling Freestream. The new agreement expands Cinedigm’s FAST presence to more than 12 channels on Sling’s ad-supported streaming platform.

Midnight Pulp includes a curated selection of genre and cult movies; The Country Network features country music superstars and music; and AsianCrush, offering pan-Asian entertainment.

Other Cinedigm channels on Freestream include Screambox TV, featuring horror content platform, The Bob Ross Channel, offering the entire four decades of “The Joy of Painting,” anime-themed RetroCrush, Comedy Dynamics, featuring stand-up comedy, Realmadrid TV, dedicated to the Spanish soccer team, and Docurama. 

Our extensive portfolio complements S​ling’s array of [FAST] channel offerings,” Jennifer Soltesz, VP of business development and strategy at Cinedigm, said in a statement, adding the additional FAST channel distribution should be a boon to advertisers.

“We know advertisers will respond to Cinedigm’s diverse channel offerings on this innovative streaming platform,” she said. 

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Dish Lost 152,000 Sling TV Subscribers in 2022

Dish Feb. 23 reported its lost 152,000 Sling TV subscribers in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2022, to end the year with 2.334 million subscribers, down from 2.486 million subs at the end of 2021.

The decrease in net Sling subscribers was primarily related to higher churn (subscribers not renewing the service) following seasonal sports activity and lower new subscriber activations.

“We continue to experience increased competition, including competition from other subscription VOD and live-linear, over-the-top video service providers,” Dish said in a statement.

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The Colorado-based satellite pay-TV operator launched Sling in 2015 as a pioneering $20 monthly online pay-TV service — the first platform to offer standalone access to ESPN outside the traditional pay-TV bundle.

Disney-owned Hulu + Live TV leads the online pay-TV market with 4.5 million monthly subscribers, ahead of YouTube TV, Philo, FuboTV and DirecTV Stream, among others.

Dish ended 2022 with 7.416 million legacy satellite subscribers, which was down 805,000 subs from 8.221 million subs at the end of 2021.

Sling TV Launches First Branded FAST Platform ‘Sling Freestream’

Online TV service Sling TV Feb. 9 launched its first free advertising-supported streaming television (FAST) service — Sling Freestream. Launched on the platform’s eighth birthday, Freestream is available with a subscription on the Sling app on all Roku devices, and is rolling out across Comcast, LG, Samsung, Vizio and Xbox devices. Freestream will roll out across all Sling-compatible devices throughout the coming months.

“[FAST] is a great new service that helps meet consumers’ evolving needs,” Gary Schanman, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement.

Sling Freestream delivers more than 210 channels and 41,000 on-demand titles. Genres include everything from news, sports, game shows and crime dramas to sitcoms, animal antics, nature, home improvement, cooking and more.

Sling Freestream users also have the ability to subscribe to more than 50 standalone streaming services such as AMC+, Discovery+, MGM+, Showtime Anytime and/or add a Sling Orange or Sling Blue base service priced from $40 monthly.

Future Sling Freestream features include universal search functionality, enhanced channel surfing, updated guide filters, autoplay capabilities and more.

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“Built on the same advertising tech that powers Sling, Freestream is yet another opportunity for us to lead, innovate and deliver a greater impact for our advertisers,” Schanman said.

Sling TV, which launched in February 2015 as the first online TV service and first platform to offer standalone access to ESPN, ended the most-recent fiscal period with 2.4 million subscribers.