Sling TV CEO: Cloud DVR Will Be ‘Transformational For Our Business’

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Sling TV’s cloud DVR service initially being tested on the Roku platform is up and running with “thousands” of customers of the OTT-TV service, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said today in a talk on Cheddar, the online news channel that was recently added to the Sling lineup.

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Sling TV’s cloud DVR trial went live last month. Those beta participants can record up to 100 hours of programming, though some channels, including ABC, Disney and ESPN networks, can’t be recorded with the cloud DVR, though Sling TV is trying to remove that limitation.

“That’s going to be really transformation for our business,” Lynch said in the interview, held in Las Vegas at CES.

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He said “virtually all” Sling TV subscribers who registered for the cloud DVR trial and received an invite ended up opting in for it. Sling TV is in the feedback phase on the cloud DVR product and expects to roll it out to other supported devices in the comping months, he said.

Lynch also talked up this week’s formal debut of AirTV, a product for cord-cutters from a subsidiary of Dish DBS Corp. that provides access to OTT services such as Sling TV and Netflix and the option to integrate local over-the-air broadcast TV channels.

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That product “has caught a lot of interest,” Lynch said.

Though Sling TV does offer packages that stream local feeds from ABC, NBC and Fox in select markets, Lynch downplayed the lack of a deal with CBS.

Lynch said he doesn’t see the need to offer CBS in part because Sling TV subs can already get it on an a la carte basis by subscribing to CBS All Access.

He was also asked to comment on competition from DirecTV Now, AT&T’s new OTT-TV service. Lynch said DirecTV Now targets a different demographic than Sling TV because it tries to replicate bigger bundles. 

“It’s surprising it has taken this long to get any serious competition,” Lynch said, reminding viewers that Sling TV made its debut at the 2015 CES.