Sling TV’s DishWorld, the live streaming multi-language TV service, today relaunches as Sling International in a marriage of the largest provider of streamed international channels in the U.S. with the recently-launched provider of live, over-the-top (OTT) domestic TV service
“Incorporating DishWorld into the Sling TV portfolio makes it even easier for viewers to get the best of both domestic programming and the shows and sports they love from overseas,” stated Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV.
“Sling TV grew from the foundation established by DishWorld, enabling us to test, grow and improve our OTT capabilities through a service that streams tens of millions of hours of content every month,” Lynch added.
As the Denver Post notes, DishWorld launched in 2013 as a portal to “experiment with streaming live TV. It found that existing international satellite TV subscribers didn’t cancel their service and switch to streaming only (and) it attracted brand new customers.”
New customers who sign up for Sling International will receive a free one-month trial while existing customers of Sling TV or Sling International who want to add domestic content or additional language groups can sign in to their account on Sling and choose a “change subscription” option.
Sling TV launched in February and offers about 20 channels for $20, CNN, TBS, ESPN, Disney Channel and AMC, as well as sports and entertainment series like Monday Night Football and The Walking Dead.
Sling TV had signed up at least 100,000 subscribers by last month, but has a long way to go. Netflix has more than 57 million members worldwide, and 39 million in the U.S.
Sling International is compatible with Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku players and Roku TV models, Android and iOS devices, Xbox One, and Mac and PC.
The brand now delivers nearly 200 channels in languages including Arabic, Bangla, Brazilian, Cantonese, Filipino, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Mandarin, Punjabi, Taiwanese, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and Vietnamese and launching today, Bengali, Kannada and Marathi.
A potential roadblock, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Geetha Ranganathan reports, is that Sling TV has a two million subscriber cap. If it goes beyond that the content providers may be have the right to pull out. It’s the way cable companies and programmers keep a rein on digital TV options.
“They want it to be a complementary product and not a competing product that cannibalizes their core business,” she told Ad Age. “They don’t want it to become too popular.”
Sling TV will join Apple as the second non-cable provider of HBO shows, debuting on Sling on April 12.
While Apple is the exclusive launch partner of HBO Now, an app-based, on-demand streaming video service, bounding out of the gate on the same day as the fifth season debut of Game of Thrones, Sling’s agreement is for live-streamed TV, plus the regular video on demand available to HBO’s paying subscribers.
Both Apple and Sling’s HBO plans cost about $15 a month and Sling users must first subscribe to the basic $20 live-TV package, which includes AMC, TruTV and ESPN and Disney. HBO is an add-on tier offer.