Sling TV to Stream to Comcast’s X1 Platform

Sling TV, the Dish Network-owned OTT-TV service, said has inked a deal to integrate its app on Comcast’s IP-capable X1 platform, paving the way for Sling TV’s core offerings as well as its multicultural packages to be offered on IP-capable X1 set-tops and gateways. 

Sling TV confirmed that, similar to its availability on other devices, all of its packages, including Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange +, will be available on the X1 platform. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, including what kind of a cut Comcast might be getting from Sling TV subscriptions that are sold via X1. 

Sling TV said pricing for its services on X1 will be consistent with current offers on other platforms, with its multicultural packages start at $10 per month.

Comcast and Sling TV didn’t announce when the service would be made available on X1, but “will provide more details when the content is available to customers.” Because Sling TV is delivered over-the-top, data tied to that service will be applied to Comcast's usage-based Internet data policies, which are not yet deployed in all the MSO's markets. 

Comcast recently integrated Netflix on its X1 platform, with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts previously referring to the business arrangement as a "marketing relationship" between the MSO and the OTT provider. 

“Sling TV’s debut on Comcast’s X1 is another step forward in our promise to consumers to be available on their favorite platforms,” Ben Weinberger, Sling TV’s chief product officer, said in a statement. “For the first time, millions of Comcast customers will have access to new multicultural programming options as well as the full suite of Sling TV programming.”

From Comcast’s end, the strategy here is not to focus on Sling TV's Orange and Blue packages, which are typically targeted to cord-cutters, but to instead emphasize access to Sling TV’s international and multicultural packages and to complement the international programming that Comcast offers on X1 through its traditional pay TV service. Sling TV offers several in-language standalone packages, including those focused on Cantonese, Italian, German, Arabic, Polish, Urdu, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Among specific examples is a baseline Hindi TV service from Sling TV that starts at $25 per month, and rises to $30 per month for “Hindi Elite,” $40 per month for Hindi Premium and $45 per month for Hindi Mega. Sling TV said it offers more than 320 multicultural networks in 21 languages. 

“The addition of Sling TV’s multicultural programming will be an excellent complement to the existing international offerings on X1 and will be attractive to our customers,” added Javier Garcia, SVP and GM, multicultural services for Comcast Cable. “Our customers are becoming increasingly diverse and this is a fantastic opportunity to quickly deliver even more customized and multicultural programming to them, on an X1 platform that’s smart, fast and easy-to-use.”

Comcast has rolled out X1 across its footprint, and is aiming to have 50% of its video sub base on it by the end of 2016. Comcast added a Spanish user-interface to X1 last year, and launched a Spanish version of X1’s Kid Zone guide view in May 2016.