Dish’s internet TV service for cord cutters, Sling TV, is expanding its lineup today just ahead of the launch of YouTube TV and Hulu’s live TV service. The company has added another premium network – Showtime – along with other additions aimed at families and Spanish-language viewers. With the launch of Showtime, Sling TV now offers the top premium cable channels, including also HBO, Cinemax, and Starz.
This makes Sling TV the first streaming TV service to offer all four channels, the company notes.
It’s not the first time Showtime has been available over the top, however – the network back in 2015 launched its own, standalone streaming service offering on-demand programming. This was available through an app on Apple TV and Roku devices, as well as on other streaming platforms, like Hulu and PlayStation Vue. It has since expanded to Android, Android TV, iOS, Fire TV, and Fire tablets.
Sling TV is offering Showtime as a $10 per month add-on – a little less than the $10.99/month Showtime itself charges. Sling’s package includes multiple Showtime channels beyond the flagship property, like Showtime 2, which offers replays and binge-viewing lineups; plus Showtime Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime West, and Showtime Women.
While Sling TV is focused on live television, Showtime’s add-on will also bring in nearly 2,000 on-demand titles as well, including those for popular shows like “Billions,” “Homeland,” and “Shameless,” and other blockbuster films, says Sling TV in an announcement.
Showtime was added today along with other improvements to Sling TV’s add-on lineup. A new “Heartland Extra” was launched to cater to families by offering wholesome fare, with family-friendly shows, movies, and outdoor entertainment from PixL (movies), Family Net (classic TV), Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV (a rural lifestyle channel that focuses on agriculture, equine and more), and World Fishing Network.
Sling TV also added three more Spanish channels – Estrella TV, Vme Kids, and El Financiero|Bloomberg TV – to its “Best of Spanish TV” package.
Streaming TV services’ lineups will be one of the fiercer battlegrounds as new players enter this increasingly crowded space. Today, cord cutters are being asked to choose between not only traditional on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but also live TV services like Sling TV, Hulu’s live TV service, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sony’s Playstation Vue, and YouTube TV.
Many customers can either take or leave a lot of the cable TV channels themselves – most of which are just the extra junk that you skipped over as a cable TV customer in order to get to the good stuff. But being able to access premium content from channels like Showtime, or add a package of just what you want – like Spanish channels – is an area that may appeal to those willing to forgo cable television, but not wanting to give up access to certain networks or shows.