Sling by Dish: Live Internet TV with ESPN for $20 a Month

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One of the notable announcements from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show that Dish Network will stream a package of major cable networks live over the internet. Getting channels like ESPN, Food Network, and CNN without a traditional cable subscription is a big shift in the industry and a sign of things to come. Official press release, NYT.


The specific product is called Sling TV and Dish promises to offer the following 12 channels as part of their “The Best of Live TV” core package for just $20 a month:

  • ESPN (live sports!)
  • ESPN2
  • CNN
  • Food Network
  • Travel Channel
  • HGTV
  • Cartoon Network
  • TNT
  • TBS
  • Cartoon Network
  • Disney Channel
  • ABC Family

Here is a list of devices that it will work on:

  • iOS and Android devices
  • Mac / OS X
  • Windows PC
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Google Nexus Player
  • Select LG and Samsung Smart TVs
  • Roku TVs, boxes, and Streaming Stick
  • Xbox One

No contracts, no hardware installation, no credit check. More channels will be available in themed packages at an extra cost. The service is designed for individuals – You can only stream one show at once. (You can’t watch CNN on your TV and then ESPN on your tablet. Or it seems CNN on your TV and CNN on your tablet.) Even though I watch less TV than ever, I still pay for traditional cable for the ability to watch ESPN or Travel Channel when I do happen to catch some free time. This type of package could save me some bucks.

Related: Haggle to lower your cable and satellite TV bills.

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  1. Thanks.

    If you have roku, you can install Nowhere Tv App which allows to watch CNN International, BBC, Al Jazeera etc at the free of cost.

  2. Where there is profit, the market will find a way.

    I think this is more profound than the HBO streaming service announcement because A LOT of people hold on to cable for live sports (at least those I talk to), as you mention in your post. There is more incentive to cut the cord for more folks.

    The flood gates might be opening, as the content providers won’t want to miss the bandwagon here.

  3. Lack of live TV option is what keeping me with cable, else I have already cut the cord. The old fashioned antenna doesn’t work in my neighborhood.

  4. I currently have cable but never watch live TV. Not a sports guy and we used the Time Warner Cable app on the Roku for on demand. But lack of breadth with that option and the price has me canceling this year. I’ll save $110/month with another provider for internet only. I already have Netflix/Prime/HuluPlus so I think I’ll be good for content. And even if I want to rent from Redbox or digitally, I’m sure we’ll spend way less than $110/month.

  5. Does this offer on-demand viewing? For me that’s the biggest draw of something like Hulu and to a lesser degree Netflix and Amazon. The ability to watch current TV a few hours or a day later for only a few dollars a month is huge.

  6. It sounds like it sort of offers on demand. You’ll have access to 7-10 days of programming. So you can’t exactly binge watch a season but I guess you won’t necessarily have to worry about when programs air. My problem is the network list isn’t that great and I think after not having cable for a few weeks, we won’t really miss it.

  7. Peter Lemke says

    after dish network stopped all the FOX channels I cut the cord and went with ROKU and we don’t regret it, saving us $110.00 each month.

  8. Thanks for sharing! I was surprised to see that this recent development hasn’t made it to nearly any other personal finance blog. I included yours in my list of best personal finance blog posts of the week.

  9. Do you have to suffer through commercials? My fee for watching commercials is $50/hour. If they won’t pay me, (Believe it or not nobody has paid me yet!) then I’m willing to pay $4/day for a DVR. I went to the Sling website and it didn’t really address the issue.

    • @ddelj (or anyone else)
      Anyone knows way to watch shows without commercials? Even Hulu Plus nags with the commercials. I prefer torrented shows (as I already have subscriptions), but don’t want buggers to run after me in the name of piracy.

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