Sling TV, the Internet TV streaming service from Dish Network, might have gotten off to a relatively slow start, but with more and more people opting out of cable and satellite subscriptions, the service’s numbers could be on the upswing.
Goldman Sachs analyst Brett Feldman wrote in a research report released on Thursday that the group estimates that Sling TV will have 2 million subscribers by the end of 2016, Investors.com reports. As a comparison, the service had only 240,000 subscribers as of June 30, with estimates for its subscribers estimated between 300,000 and 500,000 at the end of September. Feldman estimated the service had 346,000 “exiting Q3.”
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If this is the case, it could make up for the subscribers Dish is losing. Feldmen estimates the company will lose 724,000 subscribers from its satellite TV service in 2016, up from the estimated 543,000 subscribers lost last year.
Sling TV starts at $20 per month, offering a relatively small lineup of channels including ESPN, AMC, TBS, Disney, and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim. This is expanded on with additional groups of channels that usually add $5 per month to the customer’s bill. Movie, sports, and “lifestyle” packages are among those available, and a standalone HBO option is offered for an additional $15 per month.
At CES earlier this month, it was revealed that the service was getting an updated look along with a few new features. The new interface, dubbed My TV, will automatically learn from what customers watch and recommend shows based on their viewing habits. It was also announced that one new channel, ESPN3, was coming to the service.
For the time being, Sling TV doesn’t have much in the way of competition. Sony has a similar offering in its PlayStation Vue, but that service is more expensive and is still only available in a handful of cities across the U.S. Apple had planned to launch a similar TV streaming service last year but was unable to secure the deals with content providers it needed.
That may change in the future, as we reported earlier this week that Apple is eyeing a potential acquisition of Time Warner, which would likely give it the leverage it needs to secure programming for a streaming service.
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