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Sling TV Launches, Offers 13 Streaming Channels for $20 Per Month

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The experiment has begun. Will viewers—especially young adults—choose a low-priced online-only entertainment service as an alternative to a big monthly cable or satellite bill?

The industry will soon know, because Sling TV launches today. Created by Dish Network, Sling offers 13 basic cable options in its "Best of Live TV" package: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey, and Galavision. The basic package costs $20 per month, with no commitment required.

Subscribers also get a Maker Studios channel that offers popular content from members of the multichannel network (MCN). Sling TV will soon add a second Maker channel called Polaris+ that features long-form first-run programming. Polaris is a gaming brand, so presumably content will be gaming-related.

Besides the basic package, subscribers can add the "Sports Extra" packages for an additional $5 per month. This includes SEC Network, ESPNNews, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, and beIN Sports, as well as the live cut-in and highlights networks ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, and ESPN Goal Line. Sling TV also offers a "News and Info Extra" package and a "Kids Extra" package, both for an additional $5 per month.

Besides the live streams, Sling TV includes on-demand titles for some of the network, as well as a small library of movies for rent.

Subscribers can watch Sling TV content on newer Roku set-top boxes, Roku TVs, and Android and iOS portables. They can also download applications for Windows and Mac computers.

While Sling TV offers an attractive price, it comes with a few restrictions: There are no local channels and no cloud DVR, and each subscription only allows one viewer at a time. Check back tomorrow for StreamingMedia.com's full review of the service.

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