As one of the first Internet TV services to launch, Sling TV has faced its share of obstacles this year. While Sling is widely available, Sony’s PlayStation Vue has a larger channel lineup, giving it somewhat of an edge for those looking to cancel their cable, but the Dish-owned service doesn’t see other streaming services as its biggest competition.
In a recent FCC filing, Dish has accused cable giant Charter Communications of trying to sabotage Sling TV by discouraging companies from licensing their content to the service, Fierce Cable reports. This follows a prior filing from Dish regarding concerns about Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
“Charter’s laser-like focus on Sling TV shows that it views Sling TV as a serious competitive threat rather than a benign interest,” the filing reads. “It also shows that Charter does not believe its broadband Internet customers are more important than its video subscribers; instead, Charter is focused on protecting its video subscriber base rather than enhancing the broadband Internet experience for its subscribers.”
Much of the letter has been redacted before being shared, but it’s clear that Dish is not pulling punches. “Charter’s documents further reveal thinly veiled complaints to programmers about making their programming available to Sling TV and other OTT products,” the statement reads.
Charter responded with a statement of its own, saying that there is “no more friendly broadband provider” to streaming services. “Charter’s slowest speed is 60 Mbps, we have no data caps, no usage based billing, no contracts and no modem fees,” the company says.
Working with content providers is already one of the most difficult parts of Internet TV, with Apple’s inability to secure deals eventually leading to its decision to suspend its own TV streaming service earlier this month. If Charter is actually actively dissuading companies from working with Sling TV, Dish’s reaction would be understandable.
Earlier this month, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch claimed that Comcast’s data caps are purposely targeted at preventing its cable customers from unsubscribing, claiming the caps “just happen to be at a level at or below what someone would use if they’re watching TV on the Internet.”
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