Dish Network’s Sling TV has been on a roll since the service opened to the public last month, and the hits keep on coming. Today, as promised, the Internet TV service added AMC and IFC to its $20 “Best of Live TV” core package, and launched the new “Hollywood Extra” add-on pack, which adds a host of Epix movie channels for $5.
Today’s launch of AMC stems from a deal the service recently struck with the network that garnered access to AMC and IFC, as well as ancillary networks under the AMC umbrella like BBC America, BBC World News, and We TV. Just when and where those extra channels will appear in Sling TV’s offerings is yet to be determined.
As it stands, the $20 basic subscription is looking strong indeed, bolstering the lean-but-mean channel lineup of sports and cable favorites like TBS, CNN, ESPN, and HGTV with mega hits from AMC like The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and newcomer Better Call Saul. IFC adds a welcome touch of diversity as well, with a solid selection of classic movies, and edgy cult series that appeal directly to Sling TV’s younger-leaning audience like Maron, Portlandia, and Comedy Bang Bang.
And for those willing to dish out (no pun intended) a little extra cash, the selection of $5 add-on packs is becoming more enticing by the week. The “Hollywood Extra” pack adds 6 movie channels in Epix, Epix2, Epix 3, Epix Drive-in, as well as another channel from AMC’s stash, Sundance TV. Sling TV users can also take their pick from the “Sports Extra” pack, which adds a host of second-string ESPN properties (ESPN is part of the core package) and other channels, as well as “News Extra” and “Kids Extra” packs, available for a 5-spot each.
Since Dish unveiled its highly-anticipated Web TV service at CES in January, the blueprint has been to play the long game when it comes to content and availability, slowly rolling out new additions, and catching plenty of attention with each release. It’s a clever strategy that leverages news headlines in place of marketing dollars, and keeps the new service in the zeitgeist.
This latest move secures what could be seen as the final piece to Sling TV’s basic TV puzzle, just in time for viewers to catch the bulk of the hottest shows on its newest acquisition, adding one more reason to drop the burden of cable, and, somewhat ironically, satellite services. Need another reason? Sling TV is also offering a free Fire TV streaming stick or Roku Streaming Stick with the purchase of three months of service right now.
With Sling TV supplementing robust streaming services/networks like Netflix and Amazon, those standing at the edge of the cord-cutter pond may find the water is beginning to look pretty enticing.
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