Sling TV adds Showtime, family-themed add-on package

The Showtime series 'Homeland' will now be available to Sling TV customers. (Showtime Networks)

Continuing to broaden its programming selection amid new competition in the virtual MVPD market, Sling TV announced the addition of Showtime and its seven affiliated networks to its premium channel lineup.

Users of both the Sling TV “Blue” and “Orange” platforms can add Showtime networks for $10 a month, which is $2 more than what users of the rival DirecTV Now are paying.

Dish Network’s IP-based Sling TV, however, now supports the most robust lineup of premium channels, with HBO, Cinemax and Starz already in the fold. 

Notably, while carving out a deal with CBS Corp. for Showtime, Sling TV still lacks a deal for the CBS Broadcast Network. 

Sling TV also announced the addition of a new $5-a-month add-on pack aimed at Red States. “Heartland Extra” is available on both Blue and Orange and includes the Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, RFD TV, PixL and Family Net.

Sling also added three channels to its Spanish-language add-on package: Estrella TV, Vme Kids and El Financiero|Bloomberg TV. 

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For Sling TV, what started out as a fairly simple, skinny selection of major cable networks for $20 a month has blossomed into a complex, modular array of choices that could, if enough add-ons are selected, approach the price of traditional pay-TV. 

For his part, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch—who had billed the streaming service as merely “complimentary” before DirecTV Now and YouTube TV entered the market—seems to have acknowledged that the market is expanding beyond just cord-cutters.

“We’re seeing a broadening of our demographic,” he told investors during Dish’s fourth quarter earnings call. “We’re getting people from all age groups.”