Sling TV Closes In On Commercial Launch

Ahead of its commercial launch, Sling TV (go here to see our hand-on review of it) said it will soon send out a “first batch” of invitations to consumers who pre-registered for the new OTT offering, which starts at $20 per month for a core lineup of 12 channels and  access to a VOD library.

Those that made the initial cut will find out on Tues. Jan. 27 at midnight ET, when Sling TV issues its invites. Those consumers will be allowed to sign-up at and take an early gander before the commercial launch, which is expected to take place within the next two weeks.  Sling TV has not announced how many consumers have pre-registered for the service or how many will be cleared for access on Tuesday.

At launch, Sling TV users will have two options: sign up for a one-week free trial, or sign up for a “device bundle” that will be announced soon, according to the company. “Both options will be roll-to-pay,” Sling TV noted.

At the start, Sling TV, a service that Dish Network is tailoring for cord-cutters, cord-nevers and even “cord-haters,” will be anchored by a core, 12-channel lineup for $20 per month consisting of ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN. That will be complemented by a “best of online video” from Maker Studios that will include some exclusive content from the OTT multichannel network (MCN).

Sling TV will also market two add-on packs that will each sell for $5 per month: Kids Extra (Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV and Duck TV); and News & Info Extra (HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV).

Sling TV also announced that some new programming options are in development, including “Sports Extra,” that will feature more ESPN channels and access to the sport giant’s authenticated WatchESPN app, and a larger library of VOD titles from networks that make up Sling TV’s linear lineup.

The updated VOD element “gives our consumers the ability to watch when, how and where they want on their schedule and on their devices,” the company said.

Sling TV, which limits access to the U.S., will support the following platforms at launch: Android and iOS smartphones and tablets; Web browsers; Roku boxes, the Roku Streaming Stick and connected TVs that run the Roku TV OS, and the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick.