Sling joins competitors in raising streaming subscription prices
posted Saturday Dec 28, 2019 by Scott Ertz
When Sling appeared at CES to first introduce the idea of a cable subscription delivered as a streaming service, it was an attractive alternative to traditional hardline cable subscriptions. You got your cable and local channels, you could choose a la carte options, and all of it was far less expensive than your regular cable options. However, in the years since that fateful CES, the cable and network landscape has changed significantly. Comcast has taken a tighter hold over the NBCUniversal ecosystem, AT&T owns the Time Warner and Turner networks, as well as DIRECTV and the competing streaming service HBO Now.
Since the content providers and service providers have gotten closer together, their interest in helping one another out has lessened. Why would AT&T or Comcast want to help a company that is undercutting its recurring revenue? The short answer is, they wouldn't. As such, we have seen these services forced to increase their prices over the past few years. We have seen YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and even AT&T TV NOW (previously called DIRECTV NOW) raise prices because of increased content costs.
Now, Sling is falling victim to the success of the industry they helped to create. Several of the company's packages are seeing price increases, including the popular Blue and Orange packages. Each will run $30 per month going forward, with the pair together running $45 per month. For Sling, this is an uncommon practice, with Blue having never been raised, and Orange being stead for 2 years.
The good news is that along with the price increases come new channels. So, at least you aren't just being charged more for the same content. The company is also adding free cloud storage to these subscriptions, making the price changes a little more acceptable for current and new subscribers.