Sling TV jumps aboard Facebook’s Portal TV

Last year, Sling TV was the first vMVPD to launch on Oculus Go, a virtual reality headset that is also made by Facebook. (Sling TV)

Virtual MVPD Sling TV has launched on Facebook’s Portal TV, the company’s connected TV streaming device that includes a camera for video calling and AR apps.

The device is priced at $149, and began shipping on Nov. 5. It’s available in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Portal TV lets users download apps including Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV and Neverthink. Noticeably absent from the list are Hulu and Netflix, but the company said it will add more apps soon. The device also includes Amazon Alexa integration for voice controls.

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RELATED: Facebook pursues Disney, Netflix support for TV video chat device – report

Facebook’s plans for a new streaming device were in the works for a while now. Cheddar reported in October 2018 that Facebook was working on a camera-equipped device for connected TV video streaming combined with video calling.

In July, The Information reported that Facebook was talking with Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO about launching their video streaming services on Portal TV.

For Dish Network, the distribution deal with Facebook comes after a third quarter when the company managed to accelerate growth for its streaming TV service. The company added approximately 148,000 net pay TV subscribers during the quarter as a loss of 66,000 Dish TV satellite subscribers was offset by the addition of approximately 214,000 net Sling TV subscribers.

Sling TV appears to be the first vMVPD to launch on Portal TV. But the service has made a habit of jumping out ahead of its competitors with platform launches. Last year, Sling TV was the first vMVPD to launch on Oculus Go, a virtual reality headset that is also made by Facebook.

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