TV & FILM
bill-swift - January 7, 2015
In case you haven't heard, satellite television provider Dish made a pretty huge announcement at the Consumer Electronic Show on Monday. They'll soon be launching a new streaming service called Sling TV that, for $20 a month, will let you watch CNN, TNT, TBS, HGTV, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Disney Channel, and—here's the real kicker—ESPN and ESPN2 on your phone, tablet, PC, or television.
Why is this such a big deal? Because sports programming is pretty much the only thing preventing a full-fledge cord-cutting revolution from tearing the old fashioned cable industry apart. Millennials have figured out that they can watch the big broadcast networks in HD for free and (illegally) download Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead an hour or two after they air, easily avoiding spoilers on social media. Meanwhile, services like Netflix and Amazon Prime give them all the old (and some new) content they want for a relatively minuscule fee. However, there is no such alternative for sports. And this is what has prevented more people from ditching pay TV.
But now ESPN and TNT will be accessible for just $20 a month. If you're an NFL or NBA fan, that means you can get rid of cable, save $30 to $ 60 a month, and never miss a nationally televised game. And that's a big deal.
That said, don't listen to people who say Sling TV has sounded the death knell for cable. There is still the issue of those regionalsports stations that carry all the games for the local teams. Fans aren't going to give those up, so until somebody figures out how to package them in a streaming service, cable will survive.
Sling TV is a big step forward, though. And it will be successful.
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