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Vizio finally gets Sling TV on SmartCast

The No. 3 live TV streaming service in the United States is finally available on one of the biggest smart TV platforms. Vizio today announced that its SmartCast operating system finally has a Sling TV app, meaning you’ll no longer need to resort to other methods (or other products) to watch Sling on your Vizio TV.

Sling TV last reported 2.556 million paid subscribers as of the third quarter of 2021. That definitely keeps it behind Hulu With Live TV, which sported some 4 million paid subscribers, and likely behind YouTube TV as well, which last gave word of “more than 3 million” subs, but that was back in October 2020. It hasn’t given an update since.

Sling TV interface on a television screen.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

“We are delighted to provide SmartCast users with access to premium channels like ESPN and Showtime, as well as live sports, news, and entertainment, through the SLING TV streaming app,” Katherine Pond, vice president of business development at VIZIO, said in a press release.

Vizio had some 14.4 million active SmartCast accounts as of the third quarter of 2021 and was the No. 2 bestselling TV brand in the United States, per NPD Group. Like its competitors, however, there has been a distinct shift toward “platform,” which really means built-in operating systems amd apps — and the advertising and revenue streams that come with them. And while the revenue on the device side of the ledger was down 8 percent year over year, “Platform+” revenue was up 134 percent to $85.9 million for the quarter.

So streaming services certainly — especially ones in third place — have more impetus to get themselves onto Vizio TVs via SmartCast.

“With home screen access on VIZIO SmartCast, we are able to deliver our premier service to millions of users across America,” Seth Van Sickel, senior vice president of product and operations at Sling TV, said in a press release. “Sling continues to be the most convenient way to watch the shows you love when you want, where you want, and on your terms across a wide breadth of device options.”

Sling TV costs $35 a month for either the Sling Orange (32 channels) or Sling Blue (42 channels) plan, or you can get both (with 50 channels) for $50 a month. From there, you can build out your channel listings with “Sling Extras” — additional bundles of channels for additional monthly fees. It’s not quite true à la carte streaming TV, but it’s as close as you can get to it in the United States.

In addition to being available on Vizio SmartCast, Sling TV also is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Google TV, and other smart TV systems.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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