Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) Sling TV OTT service currently counts around 250,000 paying subscribers, according to a new Re/code article citing unnamed industry executives familiar with the company's operations. That would be an increase from the 100,000 sign-ups that Sling TV counted in March, according to Re/code.
With a quarter of a million paying customers, Re/code pointed out that Sling TV could be generating around $5 million per month in revenues if each of those customers is subscribed to Sling TV's base monthly service price of $20.
Although Sling TV's customer base is decidedly smaller than those of its more established rivals like Hulu (which counts around 9 million paying customers in the United States) and Netflix (which counts around 41 million U.S. customers), the 250,000 figure nonetheless represents encouraging progress for Dish's OTT gambit that launched earlier this year. Starting at $20 a month and offering a wide range of add-ons, Sling TV provides streaming access to a handful of cable channels including ESPN, CNN and AMC. The service is available over the web to PCs, phones, tablets and connected TVs.
Moreover, Dish continues to work to expand Sling TV's addressable base. On Friday, the company announced its Spanish-language OTT service, Sling Latino, with $7- and $12-per-month plans. (Click here for that story.)
Sling TV is likely one of the first of several major OTT services offering cable content. Sony's Vue for its PlayStation gaming console launched in March in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, letting users watch a fairly robust bundle of broadband and cable channels on programming tiers starting at $49.99. And Apple is reportedly planning to launch its own streaming service, though details remain unconfirmed and the company's launch date appears to be a moving target. Reports have variously indicated the streaming Apple video service will launch either later this year, early next year, or never.
Alongside Sling TV stand other relatively new streaming OTT options including HBO Now, CBS All Access, Showtime's OTT service and others.
The net effect of Sling TV and other cord-cutting options on the pay-TV industry remains somewhat unclear. However, by Leichtman Research's tally, the first quarter was historically bad for cable, satellite and IPTV operators, with the sector growing its collective customer base by only 10,000 subs--a record low for the typically robust first quarter period.
- see this Re/code article
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