Sling TV to include HBO access starting with 'Game of Thrones' premiere

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) representatives confirmed that the company's just-announced contract extension with HBO will include access to the premium channel on Dish's new over-the-top pay-TV service, Sling TV.

For an additional $15 a month, users of Sling TV's basic $20-a-month "Best of Live TV" core package will be able to access one live HBO channel, as well as its VOD programming.

HBO programming will become available on Sling TV April 12, the season premiere date for HBO hit series Game of Thrones, and also the day when new a la carte streaming service HBO Now debuts. (Dish's deal with HBO doesn't include distribution of HBO Now.)

"It has always been our desire to make the HBO subscription widely accessible," said Tom Woodbury, president of global distribution for HBO. "Sling TV is a part of that ongoing evolution and we believe HBO is a great addition to the platform."

The ability to access HBO is yet another key step into Sling TV's evolution into a more robust pay-TV service. Since launching in early February, the service has expanded to include programming from A+E Networks and AMC Networks. It has also expanded its device reach to include Xbox One.

It was reported earlier this week that not all A+E programming is available on Sling TV--shows like the CBS off-network series Criminal Minds, for example, are listed as "restricted content," and not playable on the service.

Asked by FierceCable about this restriction, a Sling representative noted, "Restricted content varies by channel. While we do not provide specifics around our programming deals, we continue to work with our partners so we can offer alternative content to replace the restricted content customers see on select channels."

For more:
- see this Dish Network press release

Related articles:
Dish inks new deals with Turner, HBO; reportedly allows Sling TV users to access premium network
Surprise: Sling TV's content deals don't include rights to all shows
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