Sling TV's limited channel mix, inflexible pricing a deal-breaker, review says

Sling TV
Image: Sling Tv

While Dish Network has attempted to brand its three-year-old virtual MVPD as “a la carte TV,” Sling TV’s programming availability and purchasing flexibility isn’t satisfactory for everyone. 

In fact, while test-driving the service as a replacement for his traditional pay TV service, Business Insider Senior Tech Reporter Antonio Villas-Boas declared the vMVPD’s networks mix a dealbreaker. 

“With Sling TV, I was missing some of the channels I watch most often—most notably TLC, PBS, Discovery, the Smithsonian Channel—all while I was still paying for channels I never watch, Villas-Boas wrote in a review of the service

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At $20 a month, Sling TV's base price is significantly lower than the competing vMVPDs that have hit the market after it, most of which go for $35-$40 a month. Sling TV lets users add channels in modular blocks, each adding around $5 a month to the bill. Villas-Boas said that even in the extra packages, his channels weren’t available. 

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“Sure, Sling TV was cheaper than cable at the end of the day, but it didn't have what I wanted, either,” he said. 

The inability to pause live programming that hasn’t been first recorded to cloud DVR also flummoxed the the senior tech reporter, who is only now getting around to reviewing three-year-old Sling platform.

“The whole experience wasn't as simple as it is with my TiVo and cable TV, where I can easily pause and record anything to skip over the ads without thinking about it,” he wrote. “I was unhappy giving up that ability.”