Sling TV's Lynch: 'We don't think of people leaving the service as churn'

CHICAGO--Speaking on an INTX panel Thursday focused on over-the-top distribution, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch conceded that his new service experiences a greater amount of quick cancellations after sign-up, compared to traditional pay-TV services. 

Roger Lynch, Sling TV


"But we don't think of it as churn," said Lynch, noting that in the three months since the pay-TV industry's first OTT service first launched, it has seen many customers sign up quickly to watch live events such as the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, then cancel their Sling TV service just as quickly.

"For those who want to do that, that's fine," said Lynch, highlighting yet another fundamental difference between OTT services and traditional pay-TV products that require truck rolls and premises equipment. 

Lynch and Sling TV continue to be mum on their subscriber numbers, saying only they're pleased with them. But they conceded that the big reveal is coming on Monday, May 11, when Sling TV operator Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH)  delivers its first-quarter earnings report. 

Revealing a bit more about the service, Lynch said there are still no plans to add broadcast channels to the base service. However, as part of Dish's overall deal with Disney, channels such as ABC will start appearing in $5 add-on packages in the future.

Beyond its much-anticipated user metrics, the service is also expected to announce an app for Chromecast, one of the last major living-room OTT devices Sling TV has not supported. Individuals close to the service conceded that demand for a cloud DVR feature remains the No. 1 customer feedback issue for the service. Sources say Dish has the flexibility in its content licensing agreements to launch such a feature, should it choose to do so. 

Also notable: While the service handles streaming infrastructure for a number of its content partners, Sling sources say a number of programmers choose to oversee their own streams on Sling TV.

Show coverage: INTX Live 2015

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