Having just expanded to Portland, Ore. this week, Evoca is slowly evolving a business model around its innovative virtual pay TV service, which uses ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals and a limited amount of IP bandwidth to deliver its live video.
Local access to key regional sports networks and local broadcast channels are key to the core Evoca offering, which is priced at around $25 and includes a proprietary Android TV-enabled NextGen TV receiver.
But why mess up a perfectly good emerging business model by licensing a bunch of expensive programming networks yourself?
That's perhaps what Boise, Idaho-based Evoca is thinking with its new Sling TV partnership. The service is offering its users the chance to combine their Evoca bundle with one of the three Sling TV domestic tiers -- the $35-a-month Sling Orange and Sling Blue, and the $50-a-month combined Blue/Orange service -- at a $5 discount.
Evoca users can combine their plan with either the 31-channel Sling Orange or the 41-channel Sling Blue (which has more channels but doesn't include ESPN) and pay $55 a month. They can add both Sling TV tiers for $70 a month.
The partnership works because the two bundles are indeed complimentary -- Sling TV has access to national sports via ESPN, Fox Sports 1 & 2 and TNT. But it doesn't offer key broadcast networks (ABC and CBS), and it has limited access to regional sports networks.
So, for example, if you're a Denver-area sports fan -- living in a place where Evoca is particularly strong in terms of RSNs -- you can have access to the Big Four broadcast affiliates, as well as Altitude Sports and AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain via Evoca, then compliment that with the national girth of Sling TV, all while staying at a price point that's competitive with leading virtual pay TV providers YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV.
“Between Sling’s innovative live streaming packages and Evoca’s unique converged broadcast-broadband system, consumers can now experience the future of television at an affordable price,” said Todd Achilles, president, and CEO of Evoca. “This partnership supports our commitment to provide high-quality regional and national sports, news, lifestyle, and educational programming to the communities we serve.”
Launching in Boise two years ago, Evoca has expanded to Phoenix, Arizona, Denver and now, Portland. It hasn't released figures as to how many users it has.
At least early on, Evoca led its marketing with the idea that its ATSC 3.0 foundation would allow it to reach slower broadband rural regions in a way the bigger vMVPDs could not. However, those bundling Sling TV with their Evoca service will receive it the same way everyone else does -- via IP.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!