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Sling TV Becomes First Pay TV Operator to Debut ‘Watch Party’ Feature

(Image credit: Sling TV)

Sling TV has become the first pay TV operator, virtual or otherwise, to introduce a “watch party” feature.

Sling Watch Party enables subscribers of the Sling Blue, Sling Orange and Sling Latino services to invite up to three friends, family members or hangers-on to enjoy collaborative viewing of a show. The host will control  play/pause, rewind/fast-forward and overall general playback experience, while the users text and video chat about what they’re watching. 

The feature is available on Google Chrome web browser software, meaning its confined to personal computers. Under a beta program that ends Sept. 30, invited guest don’t have to pay for Sling TV service—they can participate just by setting up an account. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds into its seventh month, all of the major SVOD services have integrated the collaborative watch party feature. They haven’t released data as to how much it’s driving signups and reducing churn. But the scheme keeps proliferating, just the same. 

"We know that for so many, it's not just about what you are watching, it's who you are watching with. Sling Watch Party is all about bringing people together to share in the moments that matter," said Jon Lin, VP of Product, Sling TV, in a statement. "We could all use more time together to enjoy our favorite sports and entertainment, which is why we created this amazing new feature."