With most TV viewers multitasking on social media, Dish Network’s online TV streaming service, Sling TV, Sept. 23 launched a new feature in beta, “Sling Watch Party,” which enables subscribers to connect via voice and text with non-subscribing friends and family in remote locations to stream programming together — a first for the live television industry.
Through a special beta preview of Sling Watch Party ending Sept. 30, invited guests may attend a Watch Party simply by creating a Sling TV account.
“We know that for so many, it’s not just about what you are watching, it’s who you are watching with,” Jon Lin, VP of product, said in a statement. “We could all use more time together to enjoy our favorite sports and entertainment, which is why we created this new feature.”
Sling Watch Party features include:
- Video and text chat: Connect in real-time with other SLING Watch Party guests while viewing a program, via video or text chat.
- Audio and visual controls: All participants have full control over their own video camera, the volume of their individual content stream and volume of video chat streams received from other participants.
- Player controls: Slingers hosting a Watch Party can manage player controls, including play, pause and rewind for on-demand programming.
- Sling TV programming: Choose from live or on-demand content available in Sling Orange, Sling Blue, Sling Latino and Sling International services, or any Sling TV Extra, depending on a customer’s current subscription.
The feature is available on Google Chrome web browsers and allows subscribers to invite up to three guests to for shared TV viewing.
To host a “watch party,” sign in on sling.com via Google Chrome web browser. Select any eligible live or on-demand title from a Sling TV ribbon; a Watch Party may be created up to 60 minutes prior to air time, for live program. Click “create watch party” from the title’s information screen. Invite up to three guests to join via a unique, shareable link or email. Click “start watching” when the selected title is scheduled to begin.