Sling TV, Dish Network’s long-running live streaming TV service, is now the first virtual MVPD to launch on Comcast’s Xfinity Flex platform for broadband-only subscribers.
The app is rolling out today to all Flex customers. Comcast’s X1 and Flex platforms offer other apps and services with live content like CBS All Access, Xumo and Pluto TV. However, Sling TV will be the first vMVPD through the door and it likely has something to do with the service’s long relationship with Comcast.
In 2016, Comcast announced that it would integrate Sling TV’s international programming on X1 and that app launched in 2018. After Flex launched in 2019, Sling TV’s international programming showed up there, too.
Now the full Sling TV service is available on Flex, a move that is likely about Comcast adding more value and options for its broadband subscribers. Initially, Sling TV will be able to launch via the voice remote. Deeper integration for Sling TV and Flex’s voice control features is likely in the works.
Comcast billing integration could also eventually come to Sling TV. For now, though, users can sign up for the service through Flex but billing is handled by Sling.
Sling TV’s arrival on Xfinity Flex is happening at the same time that the app is scoring deeper integration with Amazon’s Fire TV platform. Live content from Sling TV – along with peers YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Philo –will be directly integrated into Fire TV’s live TV discovery features including the Live tab, On Now rows and a multi-app Channel Guide which includes additional Alexa functionality.
Once users have logged into any of the integrated live streaming apps or channels, they will get access to additional Alexa functionality by using their Alexa voice remote, Fire TV Cube with Alexa built-in or a paired Echo device. Users can say “Alexa, open the channel guide” or change the channel by saying “Alexa, tune to [name of channel].”