Sling TV has launched a new online television offer called Sling Freestream with over 200 channels and more than 40,000 on-demand titles. It is a reboot of the previous free tier of the Sling TV online television service, which is facing increasing competition. Sling Freestream will offer the option to add on up to 50 standalone services or upgrade to the full Sling TV experience.
Sling TV, launched in February 2015, had a total of 2.33 million subscribers at the end of 2022, down from 2.41 million in the previous quarter.
Amid increased competition, Sling TV increased the cost of subscription by $5, to $55 a month for a bundle of its Orange and Blue channels.
Sling TV already had a free tier called Sling Free with a set of 150 free online channels. This is essentially an expansion and rebranding of that service.
Users do not need a Sling TV subscription or account to access Freestream, although they can create one to set up user profiles, favourite channels, or other personalisation features.
Freesteam users will be able to upgrade to paid tiers of the Sling service and they can add a subscription from around 50 separate standalone services.
Freestream is currently available on Roku devices and is rolling out across Comcast, LG, Samsung, Vizio and Xbox, with more to follow, including Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV and TiVo Stream.
“We know some people want free content, some may want a year-round paid subscription, while others may want to subscribe for certain events or shows,” said Sling TV Group President Gary Schanman.
“We have coupled world-class content with the option to easily flex in and out of premium pay TV, creating a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.”
Sling is owned by Dish Network, which has 7.41 million subscribers to its satellite television service, down by around 200,000 in the last quarter of 2022.
Sling Freestream will compete with an increasing range of free advertiser-supported services. These include Pluto TV, owned by Paramount, which has over 70 million users. Tubi from Fox has over 50 million users. Amazon has launched its own Freevee offering and YouTube is understood to be testing its own free television service.