Sling TV recently announced that Viacom channels would stay on the Sling TV service. This could be an important differentiator between Sling TV and its natural rival in the OTT live streaming space, Playstation Vue. Playstation Vue recently dropped the Viacom channels from its offering which meant that PlayStation Vue customers lost Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and all of its associated networks including TV Land, Teen Nick etc. It also looses MTV and Spike.
Viacom has had a sorted history with services over the years as its overall brand has taken a hit, but Nickelodeon and Comedy Central both have a strong following and fans who could very well jump to Sling TV if those two networks represent a major part of their TV viewing.
One of the service’s selling points, “no contract” may prove to be a weakness in this case because it will be easy for customers to drop the PlayStation Vue and add Sling TV in a matter of minutes. The lack of need for an installation or special extra equipment to service the needs means that there are less roadblocks for potential customers who choose to make a switch, unlike the decision to drop one traditional cable service in favor of a Direct TV Dish or U-Verse. There is nothing to turn in, nothing to pick up and no appointment to be made.
Nickelodeon is a big favorite for parents of course who feel safe letting kids sit in front of the TV to watch semi-educational shows especially when it comes to young viewers. Despite this Viacom has found its way off of legacy services due to the fees it asks of providers. Will the decision bite PlayStation? It all depends on what its users are really looking for. Because dozens or hundreds scream on Reddit or Facebook does not mean that they represent thousands. But it could definitely affect users who are comparing two services head to head.