Slingbox Takes TV Anywhere for Cable Customers6 Jan, 2015 By: Stephanie Prange
LAS VEGAS — Dish Network's splashy new over-the-top video service Sling TV may have made headlines before the Consumer Electronics Show, but the long-established Slingbox has been serving consumers who want to watch TV anywhere for a decade.
Both are part of the Dish Empire. Sling Media licensed the "Sling" moniker to the new OTT service, which charges a $20 monthly fee to consumers for access to sports, lifestyle, family and news networks. Slingbox, on the other hand, can be had for a one-time fee of $149 for the box, which allows consumers access to all of their cable content remotely, even abroad, which other services, including the cable companies' own "TV Everywhere" services, cannot boast.
Slingbox's biggest customers are sports lovers and business travelers who want to watch content they can access at home on the go, also those with second homes. Sling TV is a product that serves cord cutters, which Mark Vena, VP of worldwide marketing at Sling Media, sees as a different customer.
"It's very much a bookend strategy," he said, noting the two Sling products, Sling TV and Slingbox, encompass both remote ways that consumers want to access their television entertainment.
“Sling TV fills a void for an underserved audience,” Dish CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement announcing the new OTT play.
Slingbox's market sandbox is roughly 100 million existing cable customers, Vena said, with its biggest retailer partners being Best Buy and Amazon.
The company did a study of cable customers' perception of TV Everywhere services and found that many didn't know that Slingbox offered more channels than their local cable company. To try to get the word out, Sling has launched a new campaign to inform consumers what Slingbox offers that cable companies don't.