Dish Network says it will not raise the price on new and existing customers of its streaming cable alternative Sling TV for one year, offering a whisper of confidence to streaming customers who have faced rising prices at competing services over the last few months.
For years, Dish Network has tried to lure customers away from cable television and competing AT&T-owned satellite service DirecTV by offering new customers guaranteed pricing on its subscription plans for satellite, typically for a length of 12 to 24 months.
Now, Dish Network is making the same offer to Sling TV customers, promising not to raise subscription prices for all new and existing customers who have a paid subscription by August 1, 2020.
A Dish Network executive said it knows customers are financially strapped due to changing economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 global health pandemic and it wants to give subscribers peace of mind when it comes to getting information and entertainment from their paid television service.
“We believe now is not the time to make our customers choose between staying informed and entertained, and putting dinner on the table,” Dish Network executive Michael Schwimmer wrote in a blog post earlier this month. “Our hope is this one-year price guarantee will bring a sense of much needed stability in a time that feels uncertain to us all.”
Dish Network made the announcement just days after competing streaming services YouTube TV and Fubo TV said they would add new channels and raise subscription packages for customers. YouTube TV, owned by Google, said it was adding around eight ViacomCBS-owned pay TV networks and raising subscription fees from $50 a month to $65 a month, while Fubo TV announced it would raise its base subscription price from $55 a month to $60 a month ahead of an anticipated rollout of Disney-owned pay TV networks including ESPN (while at the same time dropping AT&T-owned channels, including TBS, TNT and CNN).
This week, Dish Network said it had reached an agreement to keep ViacomCBS pay TV networks on its satellite and streaming platforms for the foreseeable future, though it didn’t say if this would result in a price increase for Dish Network or Sling TV customers.
The price guarantee promise made earlier this month suggests there won’t be an immediate price increase for Sling TV before August 1, 2020, but one could come for customers who sign up or reactivate their subscriptions after that date.
Sling TV offers two basic packages of programming, both priced at $30 a month. One package, Sling Orange, includes Disney-owned sports and kids channels while the other, Sling Blue, includes channels owned by Comcast, Fox Corporation and Disney-owned general entertainment networks.