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Dish Network introduces much-anticipated online TV service

A broadcast of ESPN's "SportsCenter" as viewed through Dish Network's forthcoming service "Sling TV." [Photo: Supplied]
A broadcast of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” as viewed through Dish Network’s forthcoming service “Sling TV.” [Photo: Supplied]
Dish Network has pulled back the curtain on its much-anticipated streaming television service.

“Sling TV” debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas on Monday. The service will include a variety of general entertainment, information and sports channels when it launches, Dish said.

Sling TV will be separate from SlingBox, Dish’s consumer hardware offering that sends live television signals from a cable or satellite box to Internet-connected computers, tablets and phones.

Instead, Dish has forged partnerships with a handful of programmers — including Disney and Turner Broadcasting — to make live television streams available to subscribers of Sling TV.

At launch, over a dozen channels are expected to be offered including the Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, CNN, the Food Network and the sports juggernauts ESPN and ESPN 2.

The service will take advantage of existing over-the-top television hardware and mobile platforms, including Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android and Nexus Player.

Premium add-on channels will be available at a later time. Dish is also set to offer several international packages as well based on region, suggesting the company will roll its existing “DishWorld” service into Sling TV.

Here’s the full channel list expected for Sling TV at launch as supplied to The Desk by Dish Network:

  • ABC Family
  • CNN
  • Cartoon Network (plus Adult Swim)
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • Food Network
  • HGTV
  • TNT
  • TBS
  • Travel Channel

Dish also says two other packages are forthcoming: A “Kids Extra” premium add-on and a “News & Information Extra” add-on. The channels for those are as follows:

  • Baby TV (Kids Extra)
  • Boomerang (Kids Extra)
  • Disney Junior (Kids Extra)
  • Disney XD (Kids Extra)
  • Duck TV (Kids Extra)
  • Bloomberg (News & Information Extra)
  • Cooking Channel (News & Information Extra)
  • DIY Network (News & Information Extra)
  • HLN (News & Information Extra)

A “Sports Extra” package is in the works, Dish said. A company spokesperson told The Desk that Sling TV is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).