Dish’s Sling TV just announced a new partnership that would seem like a head scratcher to anyone who is not following the story carefully. The announcement that Comcast will partner with Sling TV to offer programming on the X1 platform which integrates numerous services including Netflix, Comcast on-demand services, live TV and access DVR recordings in one voice controlled interface seems odd but it shows the power of Sling TV’s International offerings.
Going Back To Its Roots
The company which first began experimenting with a streaming option via an international app called “Dish World” has always had a good feel for international programming and locked in numerous agreements for the rights to the programming in the US. This means that if other companies want to provide it the easiest way to do so is to partner with Sling Television or more accurately Sling International. The companies experience with Dish World served as a trial run for Sling Television allowing the company to see how offering live streams via set-top devices would work out.
Let’s Not Mention The Full Slate of Programming
It’s obvious that Comcast is playing down the rest of the Sling TV programming in its announcements commenting only on the array of the International offerings while not mentioning say Hey you can use it to get ESPN!
“The addition of Sling TV’s multicultural programming will be an excellent complement to the existing international offerings on X1 and will be attractive to our customers,” said Javier Garcia, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Multicultural Services for Comcast Cable. “Our customers are becoming increasingly diverse and this is a fantastic opportunity to quickly deliver even more customized and multicultural programming to them, on an X1 platform that’s smart, fast and easy-to-use.”
Path to prominence
This could be the biggest development for Sling Television since the service launched. Because up until now the company could only get the word about its services out via its own advertising networks. and while the company has consistently expanded its offerings and customer base a recent story on Fierce Cable said that Sling TV would not survive if it were not owned by Dish Network. While that opinion is based partially on the fact that Sling Television has never released actual verifiable subscriber numbers as say HBO and the WWE Network have, we can be sure of one thing. Comcast has millions of subscribers who will now have access to the service through its platform. If Sling can gain a fraction of Comcast’s audience via this partnership (even if it is for the International programming only) it will go a long way to pushing its numbers up and provide more money to increase the appeal of the service outside of the X1 platform. But it could also provide a path forward for Dish/Sling. Sling Television could actually become every major provider’s number one partner for international content and dwarf the numbers from Sling’s standalone customers. Could we see a similar offering on a future Charter/TWC project? Many companies may find they want to provide Sling TV international offerings. The possibilities could be huge.