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Sling TV natively integrated into Google TV’s Live feature

A screen capture from a Google with Chromecast TV showing the “Live” tab integration with Dish Network’s Sling TV. (Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network‘s budget streaming TV service Sling TV is now accessible through the “Live” tab on the home screen of devices running Google TV, the company announced on Tuesday.

It is the first time Google has allowed a third party service to natively integrate its TV listings and features within the live tab on Google TV, the next-generation content recommendation software that runs on top of some newer Android TV devices.

Introduced through the Chromecast with Google TV, the “Live” tab on the Google TV‘s software has been largely exclusive to YouTube TV, the premium live streaming service operated by Google itself.

Starting today, customers with a Sling TV subscription will be able to access their TV listings through the Live tab on supported Android TV devices with Google TV. Content carried on Sling TV’s channels will also appear through Google TV’s recommendation engine, which displays movies and TV shows that users might like right on the main page of Google TV’s home screen.

“Google TV brings together movies, shows, live TV and more from across your apps and subscriptions and organizes them just for you,” a Sling TV spokesperson wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “As a Sling TV subscriber on Google TV, easily jump into your favorites with our channel guide directly integrated in the Live tab and our content added to your recommendations on the For you tab.”

In addition to the Chromecast with Google TV, the Google TV software is also available on Sony’s line of Bravia smart TV sets powered by Android TV. The content recommendation software is expected to roll out to other Android TV devices over time.

The content recommendation software is expected to compete against similar features found on Amazon’s line of Fire TV devices and new software developed by TiVo for its own line of Android TV hardware. Both platforms also integrate with Sling TV.

The integration on Google TV indicates that Google is willing to open up the live TV section of its recommendation engine to more third party companies. Judging from how others like Pluto TV, Philo and Tubi TV have tapped into Amazon’s similar feature, it’s just a matter of time before other linear TV services become integrated with Google TV.

Sling TV starts at $35 a month for a base package of general entertainment, news and sports channels from Fox Corporation, the Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS, Comcast’s NBC Universal, Discovery Networks, ViacomCBS and others. In addition to Android TV, the service is supported on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and computers.

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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).