Sling TV, Dish’s new over-the-top service designed for cord cutters, announced today that it will become the first Internet service to offer video-on-demand content from HBO starting this month, just in time for the “Games of Thrones” premiere. The HBO content will be available as an optional add-on at $15 per month – the same price point that Apple scored for its previously announced deal which will see it bringing HBO programming to its own customers through HBO NOW.
At Sling TV, the new option is being made available to Sling TV customers who sign up for the service’s “Best of Live TV” core package, which is the $20 base programming lineup that offers subscribers access to a number of channels including ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, A&E, TNT, History Channel, H2, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, IFC, El Rey, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, Lifetime and Galavision.
On top of that, subscribers are able to add extra and optional packages that fit their needs, such as the “Kids Extra” package for families or the “Sports Extra” package for sports enthusiasts. It’s in this optional lineup that HBO fits, the company explains. Those who choose to add HBO will receive one live HBO channel, as well as a video-on-demand library, similar to what’s available on other platforms today.
“Sling TV is bringing HBO to our customers on all of our supported devices in time for one of the most important TV moments of the year,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, in a statement released today confirming the deal. “HBO delivers hit shows and movies that TV viewers crave, and with this addition we’re adding another heavy hitter to a lineup that includes ESPN, AMC, TNT and more.”
The company isn’t currently announcing an exact launch date for the HBO option, only noting that it will arrive in time for the April 12th premiere of “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley.”
The service will also be available through Sling TV’s apps on other devices, we’re told, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, current-generation Roku players and Roku TV models, Xbox One, Android and iOS devices, and Macs and PCs.
However, to clarify, what Sling TV has scored here is not the option to provide access to HBO NOW, HBO’s app for cord cutters who don’t pay for cable or satellite TV, but instead want to watch over the Internet. As Sling TV explains to us, it’s providing the HBO content directly over Sling TV itself, which makes it the first Internet TV service to include HBO content.
HBO has been making headway expanding its over-the-top options to various platforms following the Apple announcement earlier in March which revealed that Apple would be the first device maker to offer the new standalone streaming service, HBO NOW, to U.S. consumers. And just a couple of weeks ago, HBO also revealed that New York-based Cablevision Systems would become the first pay-TV provider to do the same for its broadband customers.
This new HBO deal was reported to be a part of a larger pact between Time Warner Inc. and Dish Network, which runs Sling TV, according to The WSJ. That deal will keep Time Warner’s channels, including TBS, TNT and truTV on Dish’s satellite service, and also means Dish subscribers won’t be blacked out this Saturday as the NCAA Final Four begins airing on TBS.
Correction: This article briefly stated the service was arriving next month instead of this month. This has been changed.