Soon after its launch of the Sling TV app for Apple Inc.'s AAPL Apple TV, DISH Network Corp.DISH announced the addition of 12 Viacom, Inc. VIAB channels to the Sling TV portfolio. The satellite TV giant has been focused on expanding its internet TV service of late ever since its core pay TV business started suffering due to cord cutting.
The newly added 12 channels include popular ones like Comedy Central, Nick Jr., BET, NickToons, TeenNick, MTV, Spike, MTV2, Logo, CMT, TV Land and VH1. All these channels were launched a la carte at $5 per month. This will allow Sling TV subscribers to chose and pay as per their needs.
Over the last couple of years, internal dynamics of the U.S. pay-TV industry have been gradually shifting from cable and satellite TV operators to low-cost, Over-the-Top (OTT) service providers. Moreover, growing presence of online video streaming providers like Netflix Inc. NFLX and Hulu is posing a significant threat to the existing pay-TV business model. In order to check customer churn, in February last year, DISH Network forayed into the OTT video delivery market with the commercial launch of Sling TV across the U.S. However, the service has been frequently criticized for its limit of one stream at a time per household, thus reducing its appeal to some extent.
The Bottom Line
With the launch of the Sling TV apps for Android Play TV and Apple TV, it is evident that DISH Network is shifting its focus toward Internet TV service. However, the fast growing video streaming service industry has attracted telecom giants to this space, which has in turn intensified competition. Moreover, telecom giants like Verizon Communications Inc. have introduced zero-rated plans for their online TV offering, making their offers cheaper than OTT providers. However, with rich content and media in its kitty, as along with the expansion of its service to both Apple TV and Play TV, we believe Sling TV is here to grow.
DISH presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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