Dish unveils $20 per month OTT service called Sling TV

LAS VEGAS---Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) officially unveiled its anticipated over-the-top pay-TV service Monday.  The service, called Sling TV, will be available to consumers later this month for $20 per month.

The basic service will include access to about a dozen channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and CNN.  Users can expand their channel selection by purchasing a number of programming packages each priced at around $5 per month.

Dish Sling TV guide

Sling TV's user guide. (Source: Business Wire / Dish)

The service will play on a wide number of IP devices, including tablets and smartphones that use Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system, to streaming boxes such as Roku and gaming consoles including Xbox One.

Dish is offering a free trial of the service, which is currently being beta tested on its DishWorld international program streaming service. DishWorld, meanwhile, will be rebranded as Sling TV International.

Roger Lynch, the man tapped to lead the new Sling TV division as CEO, stressed at a CES press conference Monday that the new product is not simply pay-TV delivered over the top.

"Pay-TV is a saturated market, and frankly a declining one," he told a crowd of several hundred attendees. He also introduced Sling TV's new national advertising slogan: "Take back TV."

Through its corporate ties with EchoStar, Dish has implemented Sling Media technology into its Hopper DVRs since 2013. Beyond the confusing brand messaging, it's unclear if there is a connection between EchoStar's Sling Media and Sling TV.

Besides unveiling of the OTT service, Dish used its press conference to introduce major upgrades to its Hopper DVR. 

Most notably, a 4K version of the Hopper will become available later this month and the device will be able to deliver the new Ultra HD standard to any 4K-capable TV set.

This is an advantage over 4K services announced earlier by rival pay-TV services DirecTV and Comcast, whose services only work with newer Samsung 4K sets.

The Hopper is also getting an upgraded graphical user interface called Carbon, as well as a re-configured voice-enabled remote control.

Meanwhile, Dish announced integration of online music video service Vevo into the DVR's interface, as well as a new whole-home music system that can be enabled with a simple software upgrade. Both music-related products will be offered to customers free of charge.

For more:
- see this release

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