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Sling TV Offering Free Preview on Election Day

7 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Dish Network projects Hillary Clinton win, with GOP retaining control of the House

Sling TV on Election Day (Nov. 8) will offer free access to its Orange, single-stream $20 service, which includes News Extra (CNN, Bloomberg Television, The Blaze and HLN, among others).

Only a valid email address and password is needed. New Sling TV viewers can sign up for the free preview beginning Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. ET, by visiting www.sling.com/watchfree.

All active Sling Orange or Sling Blue subs also receive a free preview of News Extra (normally $5 extra) on Election Day through 4 a.m. ET Nov. 9.

Separately, Sling TV corporate parent Dish Network said proprietary software analyzing anonymous subscriber viewership data from Dish set-top boxes determined Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would win the national election on Nov. 8.

In addition, the “Viewers to Voters” predictive model forecasts a GOP majority win in the U.S. House of Representatives, controlling 245 out of 435 seats, which would represent a two-seat gain for Democrats.

Insufficient historical viewership data exists to forecast Senate elections.

Working with terabytes of viewership data, Dish’s data science team took a two-step approach to developing a predictive model for the 2016 presidential election.

The first stage of the model identified the relationship between the shows Dish subs watched in 2014 with the state-by-state outcomes of the 2014 House elections. A wide assortment of variables was analyzed, including the types and amounts of programming customers viewed across nine different Nielsen-defined genres (e.g. sports, movies, education and series/specials).

The second stage of the model then identified the relationship between House party control and presidential party affiliation dating back to 1932.

Dish took this approach to accommodate its relatively young historical viewership data set that dates back only to 2014, when the last House election occurred. The team did not draw from any outside polls to reach its conclusions. The group expects to enhance its model by introducing hundreds of additional variables for future projects.

“With so much focus around national polling, we thought it’d be interesting to see if we could find a correlation between how our customers interact with Dish and how they may vote,” Warren Schlichting, EVP of media sales, marketing and programming, said in a statement. “We recognize that our call on the distribution of seats in the House may be an outlier. Yet when we tested the model against 2014 House elections, we found that we were able to predict the outcome at a 98% reliability point.”

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