Cord-Cutters Rejoice: Sling TV Will Save You From Cable Bills!

Dec 28, 2015

More people are saying goodbye to expensive cable and satellite television. They’re turning instead to the breadth of programming available for free on the Internet. With smart TVs and designated media PCs like Google’s Chromecast and Roku sticks, it’s never been easier to get the content you want on your TV without the hassle and expense of the cable company.

With bowl games in full swing, though, many may be regretting that decision. Live sporting events are among the hardest things to stream. Most services require you to be subscribed to the channel already before you can access online content. ESPNGo, the sports network’s digital content app, requires viewers to log in with a cable or satellite provider to confirm they have access to the network. Many other choices, like Disney movies, Lifetime dramas and CNN news, have likewise been limited to existing cable subscribers.

Sling TV is among the first to attempt a work around for this problem. It’s a subscription-based app for Android, iOS, Mac, PC, Roku and others that offers access to streaming content from several networks. The basic subscription is $20 per month, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, CNN, A&E, Lifetime, History, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, IFC, H2, El Rey Network, Maker and Galavision. Additional sets of channels, like a sports package or a world news package, cost $5 each. There’s no contract, so you can cancel at any time.

The basic lineup of channels is somewhat limited and most of the “add-on” packages offer little outside of niche appeal. However, the service is looking to expand its offering, including offering HBO in the coming months. For now, it’s best thought of as a supplement to other streaming options. Of course, Sling TV requires a broadband Internet connection, which may come at a slightly higher cost unbundled from TV service. Another drawback is the fact that the service also currently offers no DVR capability.

Still, the flexibility and portability of the service are unrivaled. Basic cable service provides, on average, 178 channels. Most consumers watch much closer to 18. With Sling TV, the live programming that’s been missing for many cord cutters is available for a reasonable cost. It’s the first service of its kind, so there’s reason to believe the future is bright for cord-free households everywhere.