Sling TV makes competitive response to YouTube, acquires Comcast RSNs

Sling TV
The deal gives the Dish Network virtual MVPD service access to CSN California, CSN Bay Area, CSN Chicago and CSN Mid-Atlantic in time for the start of the Major League Baseball season on April 2.

Sling TV is adding NBC regional sports networks to its burgeoning collection of sports programming.

The deal gives the Dish Network virtual MVPD service access to CSN California, CSN Bay Area, CSN Chicago and CSN Mid-Atlantic in time for the start of the Major League Baseball season on April 2. 

Perhaps more importantly, it matches the latest entry to the v-MVPD market, YouTube TV, which announced the inclusion of the Comcast RSNs while unveiling its service Tuesday. 

RELATED: YouTube TV gets lukewarm reception from analysts

The channels will be added to Sling TV’s $25-a-month Blue package in the select markets that they operate. Sling TV already offers national sports networks including ESPN and Fox Sports 1 & 2, NBA TV and NFL RedZone, as well as RSNs like Fox Sports' Pac-12 Network. 

Dish’s steady buildup of Sling TV’s sports acumen has moved hand in hand with steady subscriber gains. MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett estimates that the platform is now closing in on 1.2 million subscribers, growing quickly despite increased competition from not only AT&T’s DirecTV Now and YouTube TV, but soon Hulu’s upcoming virtual pay-TV platform, as well.

RELATED: Dish adds 28K subs in Q4, its first sub gain in nearly 3 years

Notably, Sling TV is making its RSN additions available to users of its core platforms and not confining them to add-on tiers—and not raising Sling pricing in the process. 

Dish, which doesn’t break out Sling TV financials, reported net income in the fourth quarter of $343 million, which compared to a loss of $125 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue fell slightly to $3.72 billion, missing analysts’ forecasts of about $3.76 billion. 

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