Paul Williams
Paul Williams

June 29, 2018

A major reason for the cord-cutting trend involves customers being forced to pay for channels they rarely watch. Choosing an OTT TV streaming service with a fraction of channels – and price – offers an attractive option for many. Sling TV is one such service garnering new subscribers with relatively inexpensive monthly plans — Orange and Blue — compared to satellite or cable.


The Sling TV logo. Image copyright Sling TV LLC.

The Dish Network service now takes things one step further by offering a la carte pricing. This essentially lets customers pay for individual channels as part of their subscription. News about the new Sling TV channel plan appeared late this week in Telecompetitor.

Let’s take a closer look at the details behind Sling TV’s new a la carte channel option. Is it really the Holy Grail live TV and movie fans desire? Perhaps live TV streaming makes sense for you and your family?

Sling TV Individual Channel Options are Light

Unfortunately, the individual Sling TV channel options aren’t really numerous. Maybe the number rises after the a la carte option matures? A smattering of movie, sports, and other channels are currently available. A list follows.

  • Showtime ($10 per month)
  • CuriosityStream ($6 per month)
  • Stingray Karaoke ($7 per month)
  • Dove Channel ($5 per month)
  • Outside TV Features ($5 per month)
  • UP Faith & Family ($5 per month)
  • Pantaya ($6 per month)
  • NBA League Pass ($28.99 per month)

Frankly, it’s hard to see many subscribers jumping at the chance to add those channels to their current Sling TV plan. The Showtime price is slightly cheaper than it typically costs. Most of the rest of those channels are too niche to warrant many subscriptions. Where’s the TNT, Cartoon Network, the NFL Network, or AMC?

It is reasonable to expect most NBA fans to opt for a more inexpensive season-long subscription, instead of paying monthly. Ultimately, this is a pretty disappointing list for a feature many customers desire. If more OTT services offer individual channel options, perhaps Sling TV raises the number of available channels? Adding TBS, HGTV, History, CNN, and other live sports options is possible.

Amazon Prime also getting in the A La Carte Channel Business

It needs to be noted that Amazon Prime TV also offers channels on an a la carte basis. Known as Amazon Channels, it features over 100 individual channels. The channel lineup includes many of the leaders in the business, including HBO, Showtime, STARZ, and more.

The main difference between Amazon Channels and other OTT services is the lack of bundling. This means if you subscribe to many channels you end up paying more each month. Additionally, you need to use the Amazon Video app or one of the Fire TV devices to stream the content.

Therefore, customers who own a Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast find it difficult using Amazon’s service. Speaking of which, both Roku and Apple plan on introducing their own channel offering in the future. Ultimately, it seems like Sling TV needs to start offering more a la carte channels to go with their Sling Orange and Sling Blue bundles. Maybe adding ESPN or on-demand options from NBC, Disney, or Fox makes sense?

Stay tuned to Bandwidth Place for additional insights on the ever-changing world of OTT TV and streaming video content.

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.