Sling TV, other vMVPD operators load up on baseball ahead of new MLB season

Wrigley Field in Chicago

Migrating ever further beyond the realm of complementary products and into the area of full-blown replacements for traditional pay-TV services, several of the major virtual MVPD operators have announced sports programming acquisitions just ahead of the start of the Major League Baseball season.

Sling TV has now launched NBCUniversal’s CSN-branded regional sports networks in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Chicago and Mid-Atlantic markets, giving local customers with the Sling Blue platform the ability to see hometown teams such as the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs and others.

RELATED: Ergen - ‘OTT is now a direct replacement for cable and satellite’


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Across both its Blue and Orange platforms, Sling TV-using baseball fans have access to games on national networks such as TBS, ESPN and FOX, and other regional channels, such as Fox-owned RSNs.

The Comcast/NBCU-controlled RSNs are also available on AT&T’s vMVPD service, DirecTV Now, as well as Google’s just-launched YouTube TV service.

The Sling TV move comes as vMVPD rival Sony PlayStation Vue has announced the addition of the MLB Network to all of its programming tiers at no additional cost. 

Speaking to investors last month, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said that when the IP-based service launched two years ago, it had a much narrower selection of content and was primarily targeted toward younger consumers who never had pay TV.

As Sling’s channel selection has steadily expanded into a fuller offering more closely resembling traditional pay-TV service, Lynch conceded, so has the target market.

“We’re seeing a broadening of our demographic,” he said. “We’re getting people from all age groups.”

Suggested Articles

John Malone has conflicting views on how Apple TV+ and HBO Max will handle the increasingly competitive streaming video marketplace.

The first Roku TV model smart TVs are getting ready to roll out in the U.K. in the first step for the company’s planned European expansion.

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge acknowledged the struggles of the traditional pay TV bundle, but predicted that the cord cutting trend would slow down soon.