LAS VEGAS — Dish Network on Monday took the wraps off its long-anticipated video streaming service, named Sling TV, targeted to younger consumers who shun pricey cable and satellite subscriptions. The $20 a month service, the first from a distributor, will be available through Internet-connected devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Nexus Player for TVs, tablets, computers and smartphones. It will include television programming and sports events from Walt Disney's ABC, ESPN and Maker Studios, Time Warner's TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel. Dish said it will announce a launch date and additional media partners soon.
The satellite TV provider noted that Sling TV is not the same as Sling Media, the Foster City, California, company known for Sling Box devices that let people watch TV across multiple screens. Sling TV will be closely watched in the media industry as the television ecosystem undergoes a drastic change. For Dish, it will be a delicate balance: it does not want to encourage more people to dump its more-costly core satellite service for Sling TV. For the third quarter, Dish said it lost about 12,000 pay-TV subscribers compared with the second quarter. It has about 14 million subscribers, making it the second-largest U.S. satellite TV company.
But DIsh CEO Joe Clayton told NBC News in an interview last month that Sling TV isn't aimed at that traditional pay-TV customer. "We are going after millennials," Clayton said. "We don't think pay-TV is working for them; they are not interested. So we're not worried about cannibalization because we see [Sling TV] as a new model for a new market."
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