Sling TV Hikes Price of Disney-ESPN Bundle to $25 Monthly, Launches Free Content for Ex-Subscribers

Price hike: Sling TV is the latest streaming pay-TV provider to raise prices since launch.

Why this is happening: For the most part, the streaming pay-TV providers are paying the same monthly cost to the networks (ESPN, etc.) as their traditional pay-TV counterparts. If the networks raise prices, then the pay-TV provider passes it along to the consumer.

Quote from Warren Schlichting — President @ Sling TV:
“We’ve been able to hold the price at $20 for three years. But programming costs go only one direction… At some stage, we needed to be healthy and viable.”

Loss leader? Some analysts believe that YouTube TV loses $5/month/subscriber due to the fact that it pays the networks ≈ $45/month/subscriber and only collects $40 from the subscriber.

The streaming wars monthly cost w/ increase since launch:
1) Hulu Live — $40
2) DirecTV Now — $40 (↑ $5)
3) Sling TV — $25 (↑ $5)
4) PlayStation Vue — $45 (↑ $5)
5) YouTube TV — $40 (↑ $5)
6) Verizon — TBD
7) Charter Spectrum TV Stream — $22
8) CenturyLink — $15
9) Comcast Instant TV — $18
10)
Philo — $16
11) Spectrum Choice — $25
12) AT&T WatchTV — $15
13) DirecTV TBD — $80

Streaming pay-TV providers by subscriber numbers (% of total):
1) Sling TV — 2.3M (39%)
2) DirecTV Now — 1.5M (25%)
3) Hulu Live — 800K (14%)
4) PlayStation Vue — 600K (10%)
5) YouTube TV — 300K (5%)
6) Other — 300K (4%)
7) fuboTV — 200K (3%)
8) Philo — 100K (1%)

Flashback #1: vMVPDs alone no threat to pay TV

More #1: vMVPDs Are Getting More Expensive. Here’s Why Consumers Might Be Okay With That.

More #2: Sling TV revamps its service with a price hike, new free tier & a la carte channels

More #3: Comparing the six major live TV streaming services for cord cutters

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