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Sling TV strikes deal with Univision for its online TV service

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Online TV streaming service Sling TV is about to get bilingual: Sling TV has struck an agreement with Univision to carry its Spanish-language broadcast and cable networks, both companies announced Monday. The deal could help Sling, which is currently in an invite-only beta test, with an audience that is most likely to cut the cord.

Under the agreement, Sling will be able to carry Univision, UniMás, Univision Deportes, Galavisión, El Rey Network, Bandamax, De Película, De Película Clásico, Telehit, Tlnovelas and FOROtv.

There’s no word yet on how Sling, which is owned and operated by Dish, is going to integrate the networks into its service. The company introduced a $20 base plan with 12 networks, including ESPN and TNT, at CES last month. In addition, it is offering a $5 kids and family bundle and a $5 news and information bundle as add-on packages. Company executives said at CES that they will launch a sports add-on package as well, and Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch actually hinted at a Spanish-language plan as well.

It’s possible that Sling could build a completely separate base package for Spanish-language viewers, or offer some of Univision’s content as an add-on package. It’s also likely that it will offer Univision Desportes as part of its sports package. I asked a Sling TV spokesperson for details, but have yet to hear back.

Regardless, adding Univision is a smart move for Sling TV. Latinos are a growing and very tech-savvy audience that is more likely to stream video online than other parts of the U.S. population. In addition, Univision viewers are extremely loyal to the network, with an executive telling the Wall Street Journal last fall that 76 percent of its viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 only watch Univision and no other network. Those viewers are least likely to pay $100 a month for an expensive, over-sized cable bundle, which is why Sling TV could succeed with a more targeted and much more affordable plan.

Here’s a first look at Sling TV:

One Response to “Sling TV strikes deal with Univision for its online TV service”

  1. I’ve realized that my ideal video service fulfills the following criteria, in order of importance:
    1. I can watch every episode of a series in order at my convenience.
    2. I can watch everything without commercials.
    3. I can watch everything on the Chromecast.
    4. The Chromecast app is designed well.

    Sling TV fails at every single one of those, which is why, though I’m excited about it’s availability, there is absolutely no way I’d subscribe to it.

    Netflix fulfills 1-4 (anyone who does anything different than Netflix has to do better).
    HBO fulfills 1-3 (I have to tap HBO Go, menu, Categories, Series, scroll and tap Game of Thrones, tap season, select season, scroll down and select the next episode. Every. Single. Night. Seriously?).
    Amazon fulfills 1-2 (so I don’t look at it too often unless I’m watching a series, who wants to spend time messing with the Roku 3?).
    Hulu Plus is just out of the picture, I’m not watching a commercial during a movie or series ever again.
    Anything else I just buy on Google Play, which fulfills 1-4 though at a premium. For some reason I watch 4 ABC shows without ever watching ABC (all of which I started on Netflix, other than Modern Family).

    In summary, I appreciate the Sling TV option beyond Time Warner Cable. However, until the day comes where I can’t watch every Packers game on the antenna, I won’t be paying for anything that doesn’t fulfill the first two criteria.